Couillon: DOE cites unnamed voucher-loving parents
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s inaugural year of the voucher is finally taking shape, and parents of the almost 5,000 public school students enrolled in private schools statewide are so happy with their experience thus far that they’ve offered upbeat personal stories in support of the program — anonymously.
The state Department of Education released final enrollment numbers Thursday for students participating in the new statewide voucher program that funnels public money to private schools accepting low-income students zoned for public schools with a C, D or F performance letter grade.
According to a release from DOE, 117 private schools and one traditional public school have opted to take in 4,944 voucher students who qualify for the program. To be eligible, income cannot exceed $57,000 a year for a family of four.
Amid all the voucher excitement at DOE, the state agency sent a press release to media outlets touting the high enrollment figures, which exceed other private school voucher programs across the country. DOE’s press office even included comments from Northlake Christian School parents who shared stories about their children’s first day of school, quotes that media outlets might have included in their recaps — if they weren’t anonymous:
Today’s announcement concludes a multi-month process to determine school participation and student assignments. Nearly 10,400 students applied for a Student Scholarship for Educational Excellence under a four-year-old program begun in New Orleans and expanded statewide this year through Act 2 of the 2012 Regular Legislative Session. After determining school eligibility and slot availability, nearly 5,000 students are enrolled in the program. Scholarship enrollment numbers for the 2012-2013 school year reveal 14 percent of students came from public schools labeled a C, 69 percent from schools labeled a D, and 17 percent from schools labeled an F.
Parents from Northlake Christian School in St. Tammany Parish applauded the program. One mom said, “I have never picked my child up from school and watched her face light up as she talked about her first day of school. I am going to find out tonight if she knows how to use the online grading system. I am so grateful that she is attending there this school year. Lunch was awesome she said and she did not eat alone. Thank you all for making this a good experience.” Another parent commented, “Let me say that after the first day of school, my child said, ‘Mom, I had a great day at school!’ On his second day he said, ‘Mom, I hope they keep me here until I’m a senior!’ I wanted to cry. It was amazing to hear him say that!!”
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SEP 2 North Carolina's film tax incentive is about to expire, and Louisiana is getting the first benefit, this story on the Wilmington NC newspaper's website tells us. 'Banshee,' a Cinemax series from the same guy who created 'True Blood,' is moving production to New Orleans, the story says.
SEP 2 The Washington Post calls Bobby Jindal on his latest effort to get his name in the national media. In this editorial, the newspaper says Jindal's Common Core lawsuits are just aimed at "burnishing his conservative credentials for a presidential run." The paper, of course, reminds its readers that Jindal was a staunch supporter of the curriculum back when he first brought it to Louisiana.
SEP 2 Huff Post takes a look at a project by a California university which mapped hate speech on Twitter. The project counted derogatory words for homosexuals, people of different races and people with disabilities, then used colors to show where the tweets using these words originated. Spoiler alert: We don't look too good.
SEP 2 Blogger Lamar White Jr. offers this commentary on Bobby Jindal's recent comments about the current US policy toward ISIS. Jindal's sudden, shrill interest in the subject can only be attributed to his desperate desire to be president, Lamar opines. All this begs the question: Do we really want someone in the White House who is willing to say anything to get what he wants?
SEP 2 St. Mary Parish homegirl Julie Hébert lets us in on the next step in her career in this blog post. The writer/director, who has worked on shows like ER, West Wing, Numb3rs and Third Watch, has teamed up with John Ridley, the Academy Award winning screenwriter of 12 Years a Slave, for a new ABC series that will be filmed in Austin.
SEP 2 Here's another round of crazy on the Scott Rogers shooting from the Advocate. The Baton Rouge television personality was killed last week by his son-in-law (and alleged sexual abuse victim) who then turned the gun on himself. The story gets worse and worse.
SEP 2 This post on Deadline Hollywood outlines the massive tax incentive package passed by the California legislature last week. As one California solon put it, the move is a response to years of seeing movie and TV work "cannibalized by states and other countries poaching tens of thousands of good California jobs." Hey -- is he talking about us?
SEP 2 This photo essay on the NOLA Femmes blog examines homelessness in New Orleans. There are pictures of familiar intersections which look very different during tourist events than they do no a normal day in the city, and an account of the issue since Katrina. The post makes a good point: When the city rousts homeless people the day before a tourist event but calls it a "health issue," the claim rings false, doesn't it?
AUG 29 Everyone who cares about Louisiana should take time to peruse this story about coastal loss from Bob Marshall of The Lens. It's not enough to call it a story; it's an interactive experience packed with data and amazing graphics, timelines, history, photos and excellent writing. Set aside some time, because you can't go through this one in a few minutes.
AUG 29 Huffington Post has a blog called Love Letters, which is grandly described as "an anthology of reflections on places the world over." This entry is from LSU Football Coach Les Miles, who, it appears, loves Baton Rouge. (Of course he does; he's a rich straight white man.) And certainly Baton Rouge loves him - unless he loses (ask Curley "Golden Flake" Hallman about that) or leaves (ask Nick Saban).
AUG 29 This story by WVLA tells us about a guy who got busted for speeding in Baton Rouge. Who cares? This guy took that infraction to new heights by going 129 miles per hour on Nicholson Drive. Poor fella - he probably has spent so much time sitting in Baton Rouge traffic he just had to cut lose.
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