Edujob – Teacher Residency Fellow @ Kauffman Foundation
57 minutes ago
It was with supreme dismay I returned to stumble over a riff between two local gurus of education. No references shall be given. All readers here have adequate resources to discover of whom I speak.
Point is: if Stalin and Churchill could work together to defeat a common enemy during the Second World War, one should expect petty misconceptions easily put aside considering the greater cause at hand.
In reviewing the decisions made by the Charter School Accountability Committee for Delaware, there is an obvious bias against Gateway Lab School. Delaware Academy of Public Safety & Security (DAPPS), with their special education population of 12.6%, had their charter renewed.
"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
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