Two Louisiana teacher’s unions and several school boards across the state will take their best shot at Gov. Bobby Jindal’s voucher program in court Oct. 15 when a judge is slated to hear arguments surrounding the constitutionality of the program.
According to the Associated Press, state District Judge Tim Kelley will preside over the hearing on the voucher program, which shifts public school dollars to private schools taking in low-income students who transfer from poor-performing public schools.
News of a hearing date comes just days after The Advocate reported that voucher students attending private schools on the public’s dime are likely to face much less stringent accountability measures than public school students, such as not having to take high-stakes tests in fourth and eighth grades to advance to the next grade level:
[Louisiana Association of School Superintendents President Michael] Falk said he thinks voucher students will be required to take state tests and those results will be reported to the state for inspection.
That generally mirrors the testing policy for the current voucher program, which is limited to about 2,300 students in New Orleans.
Falk, who is superintendent of the Central Community School District, said he also doubts that voucher schools will get annual school performance scores, which are linked to letter grades and which largely reflect how students fare on standardized tests.
The House approved an amendment that requires the state Department of Education — essentially [State Superintendent John] White — to create an accountability system for voucher students and schools they attend by Aug. 1.
White announced last week that 10,300 students statewide have applied for vouchers, though only 7,450 slots have been opened up for next school year. The 10,300 students who’ve applied represent about 2.5 percent of the nearly 400,000 public school students who are eligible to participate.
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NOV 21 Bobby Jindal is headed to Iowa again, the Des Moines Register reports here. The paper outlines what's going on with Bobby's non-campaign for president, and there's a lot of stuff here -- too bad none of it sounds like somebody running Louisiana. Hey, wasn't that the job he wanted?
NOV 21 The end of the term has come for the grand jury investigating a lucrative Medicaid contract and a former state health official's ties to the company that won it, the Advocate reports here, but that doesn't mean the investigation into this stinkiness is over. There are still some things to look into, the lead prosecutor says.
NOV 21 With the passage of two amendments to Louisiana's much-amended constitution (it has been amended almost 200 times now) higher education has an even bigger target on its collective back, columnist Jim Beam opines in this post. Higher ed used to share the spotlight with health care, but that has changed, he says.
NOV 21 Here's a weird one: The Louisiana Cannabis Industry Association has endorsed Bill Cassidy for the U.S. Senate. Apparently, Mary Landrieu said she wouldn't consider support of medical marijuana but Cassidy said he would, WWL reports here.
NOV 21 Solange Knowles, possibly best-known for assaulting her brother-in-law in an elevator while wearing an ugly dress after the Met Ball, got married in the Marigny Opera House this past weekend, the New York Times reports here. Knowles, who has a house in the Faubourg Marigny district and owns a boutique in the Quarter, married Alan Ferguson.
NOV 21 This post on the Fuel Fix blog outlines a $1.4 billion move announced this week by the Apache Corp. that includes the sale of assets in south Louisiana. The company's interests in more than 90,000 acres in south Louisiana are some of the assets being sold, the post reports.
NOV 21 One (possible) positive from Hurricane Katrina is a comprehensive zoning ordinance for New Orleans. Nine years later, we're getting closer to that being finalized, but the current version has some problems. Here's the latest in a series of posts on The Lens in which residents give their views of the draft; this one is more amusing than most.
NOV 21 The new NOLA smoking ordinance is going to harsh your (nicotine) buzz, man. This post on Gambit outlines the high (or low, as the case may be) points: it includes electronic cigarettes and hookahs in its bans; eliminates smoking within 25 feet of any building's public entrance and in any public space - or near any public space - operated by the city.
NOV 20 Politico reports here that Bobby Jindal won't be kept out of the presidential race by anyone else's candidacy. (If he's running, which he's not, 'cause he's not done prayin' on it) So he's not interested in who is running, or what the polls say, or how much money he's got? K.
NOV 20 NOLA Defender's Tiny Daiquiri has a little fun with Bobby Jindal's Meet the Press appearance in this post. Bobby is still prayin' on whether or not he'll run for the job he's been running for over the past three years, Tiny says.
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