November 28, 2011 § Leave a Comment
On the 27th of each month, my 4.0 Innovator School colleagues and I are continuing project 27, an experience that started during 4.0 Essentials. The rules of project 27 are straightforward: Go. Learn. Share. Go somewhere, learn something from someone, and share it with others.
You can read my contribution below, and visit the blogs of my leader school colleagues on their blogs (see the blogroll in right sidebar), or check in with the whole project when we cross-publish our entries on the 27th of each month on our project 27 blog: http://essentialsproject27.blogspot.com/
Admittedly, today is November 28, and Project 27 posts should be up on the 27th of every month. Sorry for the one day delay. I hope there is some grace period for holiday weekends. In the short story profile below, I am changing the name of the person profiled.
Tamisha – Tamisha is a recent graduate of Sarah T Reed High School in New Orleans East. She now attends Dillard University in Gentilly. She told me that she did not think Reed prepared her well for Dillard, because they taught everyone as if they were all at the same level, but didn’t offer any opportunities for students who wanted to learn more, or who wanted to learn at a faster pace. When she got to Dillard, she already felt behind. When queried about the state of public education in New Orleans, she said that she is against charters, and doesn’t think that the planned chartering of Reed HS will happen. I asked what informed her anti-charter opinion. She remarked that she had been attending UNTO meetings with a relative for a while and they are very against charters. Also, charter schools kick out kids who don’t achieve or behave, so they get all the best kids.
November 21, 2011 § 2 Comments
About six months ago, OPEN, the Orleans Public Education Network, hosted an event which they called “Neighborhood vs. Charter Schools,” but was really a evening about diversity in New Orleans public schools. I was out of town and could not attend, but I was able to watch it on OPEN’s vimeo channel (or at the bottom of this blog entry).
The event’s featured speaker was Richard Khalenberg from The Century Foundation, who has written extensively on socio-economic integration in public schools. Though his work and research is primarily with traditional school districts, many of the policies he advocates for could be modified to work for a charter school. « Read the rest of this entry »
November 20, 2011 § 1 Comment
The next Caisson EduChat will be held at Monday night in the East Riverside neighborhood. If you are interested in learning more about this project, or New Orleans public schools in general, please join us. Here are the details:
Monday, Nov 21 @ 7:15 PM
3714 Laurel St.
November 18, 2011 § 1 Comment
Yesterday I had the unusal experience of enjoying participating in a phone survey. The first few questions were typical of political surveys: they were asking for the favorabilty of elected officials like Gov. Bobby Jindal and Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
My interest suddenly peaked when they asked my opinion of RSD Superintendent John White, OPSB Superintendent Darryl Kilbert and State Senator Karen Carter Peterson. When they asked about my opinion of the teachers’ union, I started writing down the questions. Here are some of the most interesting: « Read the rest of this entry »
November 17, 2011 § 1 Comment
Last Friday, I visited Morris Jeff Community School in Mid City. Morris Jeff is the only school in New Orleans that can legitimately claim to be a socio-economically diverse public school without entrance requirements. According to the 2011 NOLAPON parent’s guide, 59% of Morris Jeff students qualify for free or reduced lunch. Morris Jeff’s ethnic diversity mirrors the city: roughly 60% African American, 30% White and 10% a combination of Asian, Latino and other ethnic groups. « Read the rest of this entry »
November 15, 2011 § Leave a Comment
In previous posts, I have mentioned the 100 point survey I give to parents at EduChats as a potential conversation starter and a way to determine the relative value of a variety of school attributes. I have now put that survey online, so you don’ t need to be at an EduChat to complete it. If you would like to complete the survey, click here: 100PointSurvey.
November 14, 2011 § Leave a Comment
I recently finished reading “How To Walk To School” (HTWTS) by Jacqueline Edelberg and Susan Kurland. It is the true story of how a group of neighborhood parents (led by Ms. Edelberg) partnered with the principal of their local public school (Ms. Kurland) to build a neighborhood school. What transpires is an interesting series of events that demonstrate there are ways to reengage the urban middle class in public education besides launching a brand new school. « Read the rest of this entry »
November 11, 2011 § Leave a Comment
November 10, 2011 § 2 Comments
After I explain what I am currently working on, often the first question people ask is, “Where is the school going to be?” Since the direct and honest answer to that question: “I don’t know” is not interesting, I generally answer the question I think they are asking instead which is usually a combination of: « Read the rest of this entry »
November 9, 2011 § 1 Comment
By all accounts, the second EduChat was a success. On Monday night, ten parents gathered in a living room in New Orleans’ East Riverside neighborhood to have a conversation about public education and learn about their public school options. Most parents who attended have children enrolled in the University Montessori School in the Audubon neighborhood.
Unlike EduChat #1, when I was a little vague about my desire to start a new school, this time, I came right out and stated that an application for a new school was the probable outcome and goal of what I am now calling “The Caisson Project.” « Read the rest of this entry »