charter schools

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The Eastbank Collaborative of Charter Schools recently held its 8th Annual Charter School Teacher Fair. Hundreds of teachers from around the Gulf Coast came to interview for teaching positions.

New Orleans will soon become the first city with an all-charter school district, but the education landscape looks much different across the rest of Louisiana. Many parishes have few or no charter schools, but that's starting to change.

Just after Hurricane Katrina, the entire teaching staff of The Orleans Parish School Board was fired. Last week, a state appeals court ruled that those teachers were denied due process.

Proponents of charter schools in New Orleans have a refrain: charters mean more choice, for kids and families. But most of the charter schools in New Orleans are based on a similar educational model — one marked by rigidity and a relentless focus on getting into college.

This is the first in a three-part report on Philadelphia schools in crisis.

Sharron Snyder and Othella Stanback, both seniors at Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin High, will be the first in their families to graduate from high school. This, their final year, was supposed to be memorable. Instead, these teenagers say they feel cheated.

"We're fed up with the budget cuts and everything. Like, this year, my school is like really overcrowded. We don't even have lockers because it's, like, too many students," Sharron says.

When a group of Mid-City residents proposed opening a school four years ago that would be racially and economically diverse, they were greeted with doubt. Skeptics thought Morris Jeff would end up like most other public schools in the city: almost entirely African American and low-income.

“The understanding (was) that you guys are delusional. Once the school is open (it) will look the same way that all public schools who are open access look,” said Celeste Lofton-Bagert, one of the founders.

Rapper Pitbull (Armando Christian Pérez) is the latest in a long list of celebrities lending their star power to the flourishing charter school movement. Alicia Keyes, Denzel Washington, Shakira, Oprah — all support or sponsor charter schools.

Baton Rouge Charter School Targets Dyslexic Students

Oct 13, 2013

Louisiana Key Academy is for children who are at risk for reading failure; most of the students have dyslexia.

LA Key Academy President Laura Cassidy says the diagnosis is very common. She says about 1 in 5 children have a disorder that makes reading a struggle.


The state Recovery School District currently runs seven schools in north Baton Rouge. The RSD is planning to put new charter schools on those campuses next year.

Last week, as reported in The Advocate, the RSD hosted presentations by charter providers vying for a slot.

Ahead of those presentations, the civic group Better Baton Rouge handed the RSD a community compact, outlining what some residents want from schools in their neighborhood.

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