Great news for school discipline activists in New Orleans! The Recovery School District, which oversees many of the city's schools, will soon begin curbing harsh discipline policies in all its schools, including charters, by limiting the number of offenses for which students can be expelled.
Louisiana's new state voucher program, which is set to begin in August and is backed by Gov. Bobby Jindal, has gotten the green light to start accepting applications, despite opposition from education advocates, parents, local school boards and teachers unions. A judged refused to delay the program this week even as a lawsuit brought by the school boards and unions winds its way up through the court system.
Fairness in school funding is more than lacking across the country. Southern states are doing a particularly unfair job providing their students with educational resources and opportunities. A recent report from the Education Law Center, "Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card," provides statistics and analysis of the fairness of school funding formulas for every state.
Much of the literature on education and prison -- and "the school to prison pipeline" -- assumes a negative correlation between educational achievement and incarceration: the more highly educated a person, the less chance that he (it is usually he) will be incarcerated.
This belief is supported by data for male White, non-Latinos:
Diane Ravitch thinks Louisiana might just make the cut as the "worst state in the nation" in terms of its commitment (or lack thereof) to fostering a strong public education system that serves the needs of all students. From her blog:
Far too many states continue to deny public schools the essential resources they need to provide every child with a fair and substantive opportunity to learn. The Second Edition of Education Law Center's Is School Funding Fair?
The Second Edition of the National Report Card on public school funding, Is School Funding Fair?, shows that far too many states continue to deny public schools the essential resources they need to meet the needs of the nation's 53 million students and to boost academic achievement. The National Report Card rates the 50 states on the basis of four "fairness indicators" - funding level, funding distribution, state fiscal effort, and public school coverage. The Report provides the most in-depth analysis to date of state education finance systems and school funding fairness across the nation. How does your state measure up?
What with New Orleans's massive charter school experiment routinely being hailed by proponents of corporate-style education reform as the new model for urban education, its refreshing to see a media story that digs into the evidence on why those charters should not, in fact, be models of reform.
The passage of a new education "reform" bill in Louisiana has put the state at the forefront of marketplace education policy reform. The "Jindal Law," named for Gov. Bobby Jindal, will drastically expand the state's voucher program and the number of charter schools, will institute a parent trigger mechanism and will remove teacher tenure. In other words, the bill is bad news for public schools, equitable funding and quality teaching.
It's a big week for studies focused the relationship between location and educational opportunity: First, the Schott Foundation's report on education redlining in New York City public schools that revealed city policies and practices systematically deny educational opportunities to the districts and schools with high percentages of poor and students of color.