|Gov. Jack Markell on an Education Jaunt to the New Orleans Reform District|
Shake it off. #NOBULLYING
40 minutes ago
"Rather than following the common paradigm for school takeovers nationally – that is, taking over entire school districts with all their dysfunctions, central office bureaucracy, employees, and restrictive collective bargaining agreements, the Recovery School District takes over only individual schools, their employees, their students and their funding."This lovely quote first graced C&E1st on December 29, 2009. Echo familiar today? Reality: The source document is gone, probably squirreled away the day after this post first went to print. Although an enterprising young reporter or blogger with far more time than I may choose to do a search for it...
A little research and maybe it's not all roses in Louisiana: (If it's big and in bold text, it's my comment. If it's red, it's a link.)
In 2003, the Louisiana passed legislation creating a Recovery School District, administered by the Louisiana Department of Education. The RSD is designed to take underperforming schools and transform them into successful places for children to learn. After the hurricanes of 2005, the majority of schools in New Orleans were turned over to the RSD.
"Rather than following the common paradigm for school takeovers nationally – that is, taking over entire school districts with all their dysfunctions, central office bureaucracy, employees, and restrictive collective bargaining agreements, the Recovery School District takes over only individual schools, their employees, their students and their funding."
The RSD employs a number of strategies to turn around struggling schools, and a key strategy is charter schools. The District is supporting both charter conversions for struggling schools and charter conversions for schools that are improving. To learn about the The RSD Strategy, click here.
How does the LA state intervention work?
Schools that fail to meet state minimum academic standards for at least four consecutive years are eligible for state intervention. These schools can be placed into the RSD or retained by the local school board under the terms of a supervisory Memorandum of Understanding and related School Recovery Plan.
What is a Memorandum of Understanding?
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is a binding agreement between a local school district and the Louisiana Department of Education (LDE) that outlines necessary actions that must be implemented at a failing school in order for it to avoid placement in the Recovery School District (RSD). If the district fails to comply with the terms of the MOU or fails to make progress toward the implementation of the school recovery plan during the first year of the agreement, the Department may exercise the option of placing the school in the RSD. The degree of oversight involved in each school’s MOU will vary and will be based on the level of intervention Department officials deem necessary for the school to succeed.
The 2009 School Performance Scores (SPS) report released October 13, 2009 by the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE shows the Recovery School District is improving school performance in New Orleans schools.
Prior to being transferred to the RSD, most schools were labeled Academically Unacceptable for at least four consecutive years, meaning they failed to meet the minimum score of a 60 SPS. Of the 60 RSD schools that received scores in the LDOE report, 26 have raised their scores to a 60 or higher. Additionally, the District Performance Score (DPS) improved from 51.4 to 54.0 from 2008 to 2009.
The strong performance of RSD charter schools is particularly noteworthy. Three-quarters of the District’s charter schools received scores above 60, giving them a rating of one-star or above. Cick here for Accountability information.
Sounds a lot like Race to the Top??? Maybe that's why I keep seeing the RSD referenced in my RTTT Research. Yet, RSD is not Immune to the challenges facing education today. Check out the flip side:
- The Recovery School District responds to allegations made by the Times-Picayune about their Alternative Programs at Schwarz Academy http://www.rsdla.net/media/NoticesAll/NoticeSingle/09-06-28/RSD_responds_to_Schwarz_Academy_allegations.aspx
- The Recovery School District looks to make charters pay rent. The Recovery School District and the Orleans Parish School Board, the two major overseers of charters in New Orleans, have historically provided their charters rent-free building space. But, in certain cases, it's been unclear whether the district or the charter school bears responsibility for maintenance or repairs on the buildings. Such issues have typically been resolved on a case-by-case basis. "What we are doing now is not sustainable," said Ramsey Green, the district's director of operations, who said nearly half of his staff's time goes to handling the charter requests... More Here: http://www.nola.com/education/index.ssf/2009/12/recovery_school_district_looks.html
- Recovery School District lays off dozens of teachers (August) -- Many replaced by Teach for America. http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2009/08/recovery_school_district_to_la.html
- Recovery School District to close four schools. "The changes reflect a mix of broad goals. The cash-strapped district, which has spent heavily under Superintendent Paul Vallas, is struggling to balance its 2009-10 budget as it braces for the loss of millions in one-time federal dollars next school year. At the same time, the state-run system is moving forward with plans to convert most of its schools to charters, representing one of the nation's largest public school privatization efforts. http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2009/03/recovery_school_district_to_cl.html
|Mysterious Illness? Maybe...|
|Out of the Shadows, Education Advocate|
|Gov. Turned Kids into Rats|
|Flowers in Alaska|
http://perryville.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/officials-call-for-investigation-into-group-home-where-boy-died9105714Maryland lawmakers are asking why the state has given $18 million in contracts to LifeLine Inc., the company operating the group home in Anne Arundel County where a 10-year-old “medically fragile” boy recently died.
The boy, identified only as Damaud, breathed with the help of a ventilator and died on July 2, Patch reports. He was under a “do not resuscitate” order, authorized by social services officials, according to Connie West, his education supervisor. Something as little as his tube clogging and not being changed fast enough could have killed him.
The LifeLine Inc. home, operating from a Laurel apartment complex, was already under scrutiny by the Maryland Health Department for allegations of neglect and staffing patterns, according to CBS Baltimore. The company has contracts with the state to provide care for developmentally disabled children, but the health and safety of children were allegedly not maintained.
The facility lacked the number of employees needed to actually provide 24-hour care for the children, according to Patch.
The other 10 children living in the facility have been moved, though the change is not linked to Damaud’s death.
Officials are waiting for an autopsy report to determine the cause of Damaud’s death.
Lou is a 12 year-old student who has an educational classification of Emotionally Disturbed with Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity Disorder, Bi-Polar Disorder,and Borderline Intellectual Functioning. He has a serious history of aggressive and violent behavior towards others,often harming peers and staff. He is non-compliant and threatening.His home life has been characterized by instability and domestic violence. The local team has worked with Lou since kindergarten and Lou has had a behavior plan that is constantly reviewed and modified to meet his needs.Lou and his family have been involved with the Division of Family Services in the past. He is currently active with the Division of Child Mental Health Services receiving outpatient services. In the past, Lou has experienced two hospitalizations at Rockford Center and day treatment at the Terry Center but behaviors continue to be serious.Educationally he is making some academic progress but his behavior interferes with his ability to learn. Most recently he has engaged in behaviors that would require the school to contact police. He has moved through all the specialized programs the district has to offer and is currently being served through homebound instruction.The local team presented the case to ICT requesting consideration for a specialized day program where there would be structure, supervision, behavioral and emotional support, and flexibility in regard to contacting police.The ICT agreed that Lou was a student in need of additional support. Lou was referred to one of the private school programs used by the ICT.
And all of this is okay with our Governor, his Budget Director, the President Pro-Tempore, the Speaker of the House, and the Controller General. As it stands, ICT issues one annual report, in February, to the aforementioned state leaders.
The Interagency Collaborative Team (ICT) is authorized in Title 14 Delaware Code, Chapter 31, Section 3124. The purpose of the ICT is to provide a collaborative interagency approach to service delivery for children and youth with disabilities who present educational needs that cannot be addressed through the existing resources of a single agency. In addition to planning for individual children, the ICT identifies impediments to collaborative service delivery and recommends strategies to remove them.
ICT is comprised of representatives from:
- Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services,
- Division of Family Services
- Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services
- Division of Developmental Disabilities Services,
- Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health
- Office of Management and Budget
- Controller General
- Exceptional Children Resources Group, DOE
- Chief Academic Officer, DOE
Children and youth with severe disabilities, mental health concerns, and significant behavioral needs present unique challenges to schools and families. Gaps in services that support families and childrenin their homes and communities continue to exist. This has contributed to an increasing number of students’ placements in residential settings by multiple agencies. Often these students can be provided an appropriate education within the local schools, but their mental health or behavioral needs prevent their ability to remain in their homes with existing resources.- ICT Annual Report FY13