LAPCS LOGO_SMALL 
 
Issue: # 3 March  2009 
O. PERRY WALKER
Greetings!

Welcome to the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools Email Newsletter.  We will  keep you updated on current charter school issues, news, and events.  Please let us know if there is anything else you would like to see in our communications to you or if you have a charter success story you would like to share.   As always, thank you for your support and voice in Louisiana's charter school movement. 
Policy News
HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEE TOURS NEW ORLEANS CHARTER SCHOOLS
 
New Orleans Representative and Chairman of the House Education Committee, Austin Badon recently hosted fellow members of the Committee to tour New Orleans charter schools. The visit was attended by more than 15 legislators from around the state and included tours of 4 schools.
 
The visit was an opportunity for legislators who have a hand in setting state law pertaining to charter schools to gain a stronger understanding of charter schools. Legislators were able look in on classes, see facility needs and speak directly with principals, teachers, students and charter school board members.
 
We thank Chairman Badon for arranging the visit and for including charter schools in a great day of very meaningful dialogue.
 
The Association encourages our members to contact your state representative and senators to visit your school. If you need any assistance in setting up such an event please contact us.
 
MARCH BESE UPDATE
  
Takeover Update 
  
Six academically unsuccessful public schools in East Baton Rouge Parish and two in Caddo Parish will become charter schools by the 2010 school year. See further details in the "DOE Corner" below.
 
NOLA College Prep and Sophie B. Wright approved for Expansion
 
New Orleans College Prep was approved for the addition of an elementary school and will have full use of the Sylvanie Williams building in order to expand.  The board also voted unanimously to allow Sophie B. Wright to add a high school to it's program.  Under the plan, Wright will phase out its fourth and fifth grades in the next two years, and will add a ninth grade and a small 10th grade this fall, expanding until it has grades six through 12 which was outlined in the school's original charter application. 
 
Restart Monies
 
There is still no answer to the question o
f will there be an additional wave of restart money. Superintendent Pastorek reported that no determination could be made until a final reconciliation of Restart money was complete. 
 
"We are close to finalizing the reconciliation. We will make an allocation IF there are monies, " said Pastorek. "It could be more than $250 or it may be less."
 
As this issue has been on the BESE agenda since last spring, BESE member and Chair of the Finance Committee Penny Dastugue directed that the RSD make a recommendation at the next meeting. BESE doesn't meet again until May 19 - 21.

 
STATE MEETING ON STIMULUS FUNDS
 
On Monday, March 23, 2009 the Department of Education held a meeting in Alexandria for superintendents and representative charter schools from around the state to discuss the Federal Stimulus Funding available to Louisiana public schools.  Following is information from the meeting.
 
Special thanks to Bob Fulton, interim CEO of the Algiers Charter Schools Association, Renita Thukral, Policy Advisory for New Schools for New Orleans, and Kenneth Ducote with the East Bank Collaborative of of Chater Schools for contributing to this summary.
 
As relating to schools, stimulus money has two purposes:
 
(1) spend funds quickly and save jobs
(2) advance education reform and long-lasting results. 
 
Stabilization Funds 
 
The funds are to be used for the following:
  • Data systems that include the required elements in the America Competes Act
  • Improving teacher effectiveness and equitably assigning effective and experienced teachers
  • Providing required supports and interventions to schools identified for corrective actions and restructuring
  • The best use of funds will be for reforms giving long-term benefits thereafter when money stops.

The funds can not be used for the following:

  • Payment of maintenance costs, purchase or upgrade of vehicles, stadiums or similar facilities, and central office administration, operations, or logistical support facilities
  • It is strongly encouraged not to use stimulus funds on long term expenses.

The State is using $142 million of such funds over the next two years  ($72 million per year) to restore funding to the MFP.  There will be no increase in the MFP for the 2009-2010 school year.  It is important to note that without the stimulus funds, there would have been cuts to the MFP.

To use the funds all receiving schools and districts will be required to prepare quarterly assurances to show how the funds were used.  Reporting formats are being prepared by the State through guidance received from the U.S. Department of Education.
 
Title I and IDEA Stimulus Grants
 
Additional stimulus funds will be available through Title I and IDEA Stimulus grants.  The amount and processes associated with these grant monies is to be determined. 
 
Competitive Grants
 
About $5 billion in stimulus funds are allocated for competitive grants.  There will be an opportunity for nonprofits and LEA's to apply and go after these monies.  But, again, the process and timeline is to be determined.  An early summer deadline is anticipated.
 
The State Department of Education will be posting FAQ's on their website regarding the Stimulus monies.
DOE Charter Office Corner 
Welcome to DOE Corner.  In this section of the Newsletter, we will provide regular information from the Louisiana Department of Education through the Charter Schools Office.
 
Hot Topics
 
BESE Awards New Charters
 
At its March meeting, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) approved the creation of six new charter schools in Baton Rouge and Shreveport to be opened no later than the 2010-2011 school year.  These charter schools will be "takeover" charter schools, which are failing schools that have been restructured as a charter schools with new, independent management.  The schools and their operators are listed below:
 
Dalton Elementary (Baton Rouge) - Advance Baton Rouge
Lanier Elementary (Baton Rouge) - Advance Baton Rouge
Crestworth Middle (Baton Rouge) - Crestworth Learning Academy, Inc.
Linear Middle (Shreveport) - Martin Luther King Neighborhood Association
Linwood Middle (Shreveport) - Shreveport Charter School, Inc.
 
The Board also voted to allow four schools in Baton Rouge- Capitol Elementary School, Capitol Middle School, Banks Elementary School and Parks Elementary School to be operated by the Recovery School District beginning in 2009-10.  Banks Elementary and Park Elementary will be re-advertised for potential charter operators this spring, with plans to identify a charter operator for those two schools for the 2010-11 school year.
 
School Site Visits

The LDOE Charter Office, working with the Recovery School District, is in the process of conducting school site visits of all of the New Orleans area charter schools authorized by BESE that are in years 1-3 of their charter contracts. 

The purpose of these visits is 1) to gauge overall school quality and the extent to which the school is providing high-quality learning experiences for students; 2) to assess the progress the school is making towards meeting the obligations of its charter; 3) to provide faculty and staff with school improvement feedback; and 4) to provide critical information to the LDOE about how to best to support charter schools.

Site visits will take place through March 20 and will resume after spring break during the week of April 20th.
 
 
Charter Schools Office
1201 N. 3rd Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Phone: 225-342-3640
Email: schoolchoice@la.gov
 
 
Staff List
 
Kenneth Campbell
State Director of Charter Schools
Patricia McFarland
Operations Advisor
Folwell Dunbar
Education Advisor
Karen Sheppard
Operations Manager
Carrie Barbin
Administrative Assistant
Secretary Arne Duncan Visits New Orleans
ESY
 

Sophie B. Wright Charter School


Sophie B. Wright Charter School welcomed Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan and Senator Mary Landrieu with welcome arms.  They visited our 4th grade classrooms while also observing the college students that participate in an in-school tutoring program that we have in partnership with Tulane University and Xavier University. The students greeted Mr. Duncan with much excitement and respect and asked him an array of questions, ranging from his professional basketball career to his new job as "Superintendent of the World".  Ms. Landrieu told the students how impressed she was with them and the school.
 
The students had written letters to President Obama congratulating him after he was elected.  One student read her essay aloud and Mr. Duncan asked to take the essays back to President Obama. How exciting! The students were very appreciative to Mr. Duncan for taking their letters.  He told them that his goal was to make sure other schools were as good as Wright Charter School.  It was one of the most exciting things that has happened at Wright Charter School and we are estatic that as a charter school we were selected to meet Mr. Arnie Duncan and show him that learning is an everyday occurrence at our school.
 
Paul Vallas, Superintendent of the Recovery School District, Louella Givens, BESE Board Member, and Darryl Kildert also came to visit with Mr. Duncan.
 
- Sharon Clark
  Principal, Sophie B. Wright Charter School

Edna Karr High School

Secretary Duncan cited the region's embrace of different school models, the local teacher pay-for-performance programs and the state's emerging student data system that can be used to compare student growth across schools and teachers. The $5 billion "race to the top" grant fund represents only a fraction of the more than $100 billion in new education money available through the federal stimulus package. But it's unusual in its structure and intent: States, districts and nonprofit organizations will compete for the money by showcasing ideas that "change the national conversation" about education.

"There's a remarkable pool of talent from every sector, and I think that's what it takes," he said. "It's not just the public schools trying to get better by themselves. That's not enough."

The Secretary said he does not believe the decentralization in New Orleans, where independent charter boards operate a majority of the schools, is at odds with his preference for top-down control.

"I see that as a portfolio approach," he said, noting that having strong accountability and officials who are willing to quickly close poor-performing schools, whether they are chartered or not, will prove essential to the city's long-term success.

During his visit to Karr High, which is part of the Algiers Charter Schools Association, Duncan asked the students in a European history class whether they planned to become teachers. Only one student raised her hand.

He encouraged the students to consider a career in education, noting that with the upcoming retirement of millions of baby boomers, the need will be tremendous. "If you start teaching, you're going to have a world of opportunity out there," he said.

Additionally, he asked me for the ACSA's Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) metrics and asked about our process for hiring master teachers.  He indicated that hiring quality master teachers in Chicago was a priority.  I shared that our focus from the beginning was to recruit the finest teacher in the area to become master teachers because the level of support that they provide in classrooms on a daily basis becomes the face of TAP.  I shared our success in doing so as well as our strong value-added growth.

-Kevin Guitterrez
 Executive Academic Officer, Algiers Charter School Association
Charter Chat with Gary Larson
Each monthly issue of our newsletter will feature an interview with a recognized charter leader, champion, or expert.  Is there anyone in particular you want to hear from?  Any specific questions you want answered?  Let us know!
 
This month we chat charters with Gary Larson, the founding principal of Larson Communications, a strategic public and media relations firm specializing in education reform, non-profit and public policy. 

Seasoned in crisis communications and strategic positioning, Larson spent six years leading the California charter school movement's efforts to raise public awareness and support. He worked to help the charter school community tell its story through the media and to educate the public about the benefits of such schools. During his tenure, support for charter schools increased dramatically and enrollment doubled. Larson served for three years as vice president for the California Charter Schools Association, and served as the director of communications for the California Network of Educational Charters (CANEC). In this role, he oversaw all public and media relations during one of the charter school movement's most tumultuous periods.

Question:  What is the one key message we should always communicate when talking about charter schools with the public?

Answer:  Charter schools are PUBLIC schools. 
 
Public charter schools are intended to improve our nation's public school system. There are now more than 4,600 public charter schools in over 40 states, educating more than 1.3 million public school students. 
 
Charter schools are public schools because, while independently operated, they are:

  • tuition-free and open to every student who wishes to enroll
  • non-sectarian, and do not discriminate on any basis
  • publicly funded by local, state and federal tax dollars based on enrollment like other public schools
  • held accountable to state and federal academic standards

Question:  What are some things individual charter schools can do to help with statewide public relations?

 
Answer:  Charter schools should learn key charter school messages.  Simple messages, consistently and frequently conveyed, will establish a base level of awareness and understanding of the value of charter schools.  These messages include:
  • charter schools are public schools
  • public charter schools give teachers flexibility to innovate
  • public charter schools give parents choices
  • public charter schools introduce an unprecedented level of accountability
  • public charter schools are closing the achievement gap
Charter schools should develop their own story ideas to pitch to the media.  What is your school doing that no else around you is?  For example, promote a special event that is of community interest for your local paper or highlight the fact that test scores have increased at your school.    
 
Question:  What is one of the most common criticisms of charter schools that you hear?  How do you respond? 

Answer:  Common criticism: Charter schools drain money from the public school system.
 
Response: Charter schools are public schools and therefore they keep public money in the public school system.  Charter schools allow the educational dollars to follow the student when they choose a public school that best meets their needs.  Charter schools also give parents choices within the public school system that empower parents and the local community over bureaucrats and politicians.  If a regular public school is not addressing the needs of a particular student, then their parent can enroll them in a public school that may better meet their needs.  Highlight examples of where districts are reforming due to the presence of charters.
 
Strategic Messages:

Charter schools:
  • relieve overcrowding
  • share best practices so that everyone benefits
  • serve at-risk kids and reduce the dropout rate
  • provide something that the school district can't
  • bring kids back into the public school system

Question:  We certainly all know that negative press about charter schools exists.  What is a piece of advice you can give to charter schools about dealing with this negative press?
 
Answer:
  Negative news will happen, but don't be discouraged.  Your goal in managing your school's image is to keep an eye on what people think months and years from now rather than just tomorrow.  Remember that the public does not fully understand charter schools' value.  Some that have a vested interest in the status quo will work against charters.  As a school, the independent, 'earned media' is the most efficient way for you to get your message out.  It is critical to be able to communicate the value of your charter school to the public.  Be proactive.  Seize the initiative.  Always tell your story first and your way.  Get all the facts out about your school's successes.  

Job Listings Now On LAPCS Website
 
Please note that the LAPCS website now has a statewide job vacancy posting page on our website.  Please let your HR or recruiting staffer know that this resource is available. To access the page, click HERE.
 
The Eastbank Collaborative of Charter Schools also has a New Orleans job vacancy page available.  To access this site, click HERE.

Grant Opportunities

In partnership with NSNO, the LAPCS is pleased to bring you a comprehensive list of grant opportunities that may be of interest to Louisiana's charter schools.  The list is updated daily with new and interesting grant opportunities, so check back often! To visit the list click HERE.
 
Upcoming Deadlines:
 
 
 
ING: Unsung Heroes Awards (April 30, 2009)
Events
New Orleans Members Advisory Council
 
The LAPCS Members Advisory Council will be a key organizational component in identifying problem issues, setting priorities, gathering data, communicating important issues, resolving problems, and more.  
 
Next MAC Meeting:
 
When:  April 21, 2009, 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
 
Where: TBA 
 
To register to attend the MAC Meeting, please email achen@lacharterschools.org
 
MAC Committee Meetings 
 
During the December MAC meeting, we created 5 committees 
(Policy/Legislative, Operations/Finance, Quality Standards, Facilities, and Governance/Board) with the purpose of collectively finding solutions to challenges that many charter schools face.   All board members, school leaders, and school staff are welcome to sign up. 
 
If you would like to join one of these working committees, click here.
 
Upcoming MAC Committee Meetings:
 
Finance Committee Meeting
 
April 1, 2009, 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
200 Broadway, Suite 108 Conference Room
 
Quality Standards Committee Meeting
 
April 9, 2009, 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
200 Broasdway, Suite 122 Conference Room
 
Legislative Committee Meeting
 
April 20, 2009, 8:30 - 10 a.m.
200 Broadway, Suite 122 Conference Room

 Save the Date!

National Charter Schools Week 
May 4-8, 2009
 
We are working with the Eastbank Collaborative, New Schools for New Orleans and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools to plan and coordinate a great week that celebrates Louisiana's charter schools including a Capitol Hill Day and other special events around the state.  If your school is interested in participating, let us know so that we can coordinate with you. Stay tuned for more details!
3rd ANNUAL CHARTER SCHOOL TEACHERS FAIR
 
Saturday, May 16, 2009
9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Xavier University Student Center
3rd Floor Ballroom
 
OPEN TO ALL! A special opportunity for ALL Orleans Parish Public Schools!
 
Charter School Principals or Recruiters:  Reserve a free space now to interview the best and brightest certified teachers on May 16th!
 
A special opportunity for certified teachers or recent graduates certified in 2009!
 
Teachers!  Pre-register for the charter school teacher fair!  Interviews will be conducted on the spot!  To pre-register, visit http://www.eastbankcollaborative.com/fair_registration.htm
 
Full and part-time positions available in New Orleans Charter Schools!  Post your resume before the fair so principals can review it immediately!  Email resumes to Rose Peterson, rpeterson@slc-gno.org and indicate your course/grade preference/area of certification.
 
Pre-registration for teachers is NOT required, but encouraged.
 
NAPCS Conference Logo
 
The only national conference devoted exclusively to public charter schools is sure to attract a tremendous line-up of outstanding school leaders and our country's top public officials. It will be an exciting time in Washington as a new administration and a new Congress get down to the nation's business next year. For more information, please visit http://www.nationalcharterconference.org/
 
 
Save the Date 
2009 Louisiana Charter Schools Annual Conference
"Empower, Engage, Educate" 
September 11-12, 2009 
 
Our 1st annual conference held in November of 2008 was a huge success with over 200 attendees from all over the state.   We have tentatively set the 2009 conference date for October 11-12.  Mark your calendars today!  Stay tuned for more information on location, breakout sessions, keynote speakers, and special events. 
 
Location Announced
 
We have outgrown last year's venue!  This year the conference will be held at the Hampton Inn & Suites, located at 1201 Convention Center Boulevard in New Orleans, La.  Limited rooms are available for a special conference price of $79/ night for standard rooms and $129/night for suites.  The Hampton Inn has beautiful meeting space and rooms to accommodate Louisiana's charter schools at this year's conference!
 
Keynote Speaker Announced
 
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Yvonne Chan has confirmed that she will participate in our 2009 conference as keynote speaker.   As principal of Vaughn Next Century Learning Center in Pacoima, California, Dr. Chan has consistently pushed the limits of education for nearly 40 years as an educator, school leader, and the founder of the first conversion charter school in the nation.  Serving more than 2,000 students, Dr. Chan's school was named the 1995 California Distinguished School and the 1996 Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.  Dr. Chan is a member  of the California State Board of Education, adjunct professor at UCLA, and a Commissioner at the California City Commission for Youth and Families.  A recipient of the Milken Educator Award, McGraw Hills Distinguished Educator Award, Gleitsman Community Activist Award, Irvine Foundation Leadership Award, and National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Hall of Fame.  Chan has relentlessly shared her innovative ideas on education and social reform internationally and has testified before 37 sate legislatures on charter school policies.
 
Stay Tuned for RFP's and Award Nomination Forms
 
Next month, we will be soliciting proposals for speakers and breakout sessions.  Begin brainstorming what you think you can share with your charter peers! 
 
Additionally, this year we will debut our annual Louisiana charter school awards.  Nominations will be sought for charter school teacher, board member, champion, and school leader of the year.  This will be your chance to recognize your school on a statewide level.  Forms will be available next month!
 
Special Education Trade Show
 
WHAT:  An exhibit of educational technology and instructional materials appropriate for special education students and/or students at-risk.  Exhibitors represent companies with the most current educational technology and materials available to meet the needs of both students with disabilities and students with gifts and talents and that could be purchased with special education funds or even 'stimulus' package funds. 

WHEN:  Tuesday, April 21, 2009, 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

WHERE:  Lindy Boggs Conference Center, 2045 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans, LA 70122

WHO:  The event is open to educators and individuals from both public and non-public schools in the Greater New Orleans area and surrounding parishes who provide services to special education students and/or students at  risk.  The event is free, but please bring an educational toy or non perishable food item that will be donated to a local charity.

SPECIFICS:   Refreshments will be served and door prizes given out each hour.  A Trade Show booklet will list all participating vendors with contact information.

For more information, contact The SUNS Center at 504-822-8280 or email kkilgore@slc-gno.org 

School Performance Scores 101

Presented by Leslie Jacobs
April 8, 2009, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
New Schools for New Orleans
200 Broadway, Suite 108 
 
Louisiana's School Accountability System calls for continuous improvement in student achievement, attendance, and dropout rates.  Each year, schools must show improvement in the School Performance Scores.  In this session you will gain a a better understanding of School Performance Scores and how they impact your school.
 
The presentation will provide an overview of Louisiana's School Accountability System, including:
  • What is a School Performance Score and how is it calculated
  • What are incentive points
  • How is your Growth Target calculated and what happens if you do not make your growth target
  • What are the Performance and Growth Labels and how are they determined
  • For High Schools, what is the graduation imndex and how do drop outs impact your SPS
  • What is the timeline for schools in New Orleans to re-enter School Accountability
  • How does school performance tie into BESE's policy for a charter's extension and renewal 
Space is limited.  Register by emailing Nancy Burvant at nancy@nsno.org
International School of Louisiana
Refrigerator Art Auction & Gala
March 29, 2009, 7:00 -10:00 p.m.
The Foundry, 333 St. Joseph, New Orleans
Tickets available at isl-edu.org

Step into the chill zone at the International School of Louisiana's (ISL's) March 29 spring fundraising gala: the Fifth annual Refrigerator Art Auction. Inspired by the indispensable kitchen appliance that serves as the very first showcase for budding artists everywhere, this super cool event brings together local artists, musicians and community members for an evening of food, fun, music and art. Event proceeds will support arts programs at ISL, a public charter school providing a multi-lingual education in French and Spanish.

 
General admission is $60 online,$100 at the door. Patron tickets are $125 and include an exclusive gift and pre-event reception at 6:00 pm (gift available to first 150 patrons). A patron table is $1000 with 10 tickets and table seating, plus the above. All tickets include food by some of New Orleans' finest restaurants (Lilette, Herbsaint, Bayona, Elizabeth's and MiLa to name a few), an open beer, wine, soda bar and live entertainment by the Bucktown All-Stars, Egg Yolk Jubilee and the Davis Rogan Trio.

For more information, please visit www.isl-edu.org
15th Annual Goldring
Summer Workshop for Teachers


Using Holocaust Survivor Testimony in the Classroom

July 15, 16, and 18, 2009
                                       
Southern Institute for Education and Research
Tulane University


TEACHERS

The workshop, conducted by the Southern Institute's Plater Robinson on the Tulane campus, is free. It is designed for middle and high school teachers.

Teachers will receive our study guides and a set of DVDs containing our documentaries on ten Holocaust survivors in New Orleans, as well as C.E.U. credits.

Teachers are responsible for their own meals and accommodations. 

HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS

Four Holocaust survivors, and a refugee from Nazi Germany, will speak to the group during the course of three days of intensive study.

APPLY NOW

E-mail application to probins@tulane.edu, or mail to:

Plater Robinson, Southern Institute for Education and Research, Tulane University, MR Box 1692, 31 McAlister Dr., New Orleans, LA 70118-5555.

DEADLINE: APRIL 30, 2009

Participation limited to twenty highly motivated teachers.

On April 30, 2009, or sooner, teachers will learn if they have been accepted or not.

 
New LAPCS Board Member
Congratulations to Hal Brown, who has been elected as the Members Advisory Council Representative on the LAPCS Baoard of Directors. 
 
Mr. Brown has been actively involved with a number of local nonprofit organizations including: the Horizon Initiative (Chair), New Orleans College Prep Charter School (Chair), the Preservation Resource Center (Board), the Tulane-Canal Community Development Corp. (Board), the Downtown Neighborhoods Improvement Assoc. (Board Secretary), and a member of three Mid-City neighborhood improvement associations.
 
Hal's thoughts on New Orleans Charter Schools
 
I believe that the next two years will be crucial to the success of the charter movement in New Orleans:
 
   1. First, as we come to the end of the 5-year period of control by the Recovery School District, the crucial policy question about what comes next remains undecided and still vulnerable to those who would like to roll back the charter movement and reinstate failed governance models.  RSD Superintendent Paul Vallas, a supporter of the charter movement, has already announced his intentions to depart at the end of the next school year.  That transition of a key decision-maker at the time of potential structural institutional change adds greater importance to policy vigilance by all the charters.
  
 2. Secondly, many of the post-Katrina charters will be facing their 3-year performance thresholds during this period.  While the association is not responsible for individual charter academic performance, I believe that it behooves us all to address those systemic issues -- whether policy, fiscal or operational -- that are a drag on academic performance or are otherwise detrimental to the well being of our students.

   3. Finally, facilities will be an ongoing challenge for Orleans based charters for the foreseeable future.  The Master Facility Plan defined a $1.8 billion problem and offered only a $700 million solution.  I believe that the Association should vigorously pursue alternative financing schemes that can begin to close that gap.  We have identified one federal program that only the State of Louisiana can apply for but has yet to do so.  If the State is not interested, then the Association should take the steps that bureaucratic inertia is reluctant to do and prepare facility demonstration program using those funds for Orleans Parish charters.
Welcome New LAPCS Members!
Sophie B. Wright (New Orleans) 
Belle Chasse Academy (Belle Chasse)
Lusher Charter School (New Orleans)
MAX Charter School (Thibodaux)
Abramson Science and Technology (New Orleans and Baton Rouge)
 
*We currently represent 46 schools throughout Louisiana.
 
New Vendors:
Staples
School Reach
Hithe Enterprises
Grade Results
Articles of Interest 
"NPR two-part series on New Orleans Charter Schools"
NPR
March 2-3, 2009
 
NPR examines the changing landscape of education in Post-Katrina New Orleans.  Part 1, "Testing the benefits, burdens of school choice" examines New Orleans as a district of choice and what that means for parents and budgets.  Part 2, "As NOLA charter schools thrive, tensions grow" examines
New Orleans' experience with charter schools and the objections raised by traditional schools, which argue that charters skim off the best students.
Read more by clicking links above 
 
"Lessons from D.C.'s catholic schools turned to charters"
New York Times
March 9, 2009
 
The New York Times examined one of the seven former Catholic schools in Washington, D.C. which have converted to charters this year, in what is now considered "a popular exit strategy for urban parochial schools facing plummeting enrollment and untenable operating costs."  
 
"Obama outlines plan for education overhaul"
New York Times
March 11, 2009
 
President Obama called for sweeping changes in American education on Tuesday, urging states to lift limits on charter schools and improve the quality of early childhood education while also signaling that he intends to make good on his campaign promise of linking teacher pay to performance.
Read more... 
 
"New Orleans schools offer hope for progress"   
International Herald Tribune
March 15, 2009
 
The International Herald Tribune, the global edition of the New York Times, ran this article in country's such as France and Taiwan highlighting the success of New Orleans Charter Schools post-Katrina, specifically Samuel J. Green Charter School and KIPP's Mcdonogh 15.
 
"MSU study shows charter high schools send more students to college"
Grand Rapids Press
March 20, 2009
 
A study by Michigan State University shows that graduation rates are 7 to 15% higher in charter schools, and charter schools may not be "skimming off the top as much as some people think."
 
"Rebuilding after disaster"
Charter Schools Today
Winter 2009
Charter Schools Today featured an interview with Lafayette Academy's school leader, Mickey Landry about the challenges of reopening after Katrina and what the school is doing today. 
Warren Easton High School is also featured in the issue highlighting "building a tradition of excellence" and Warren Easton's history as an excellent public school in New Orleans.  Click HERE to visit the website and view the magazine's digital version.
About Us 
MISSION
 
The mission of the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools (LAPCS) is to provide a clear and distinctive voice for Louisiana's charter schools, educating the public about their progress and ensuring that they thrive for the benefit of students statewide. The Association provides leadership, member services and public information to serve and support the charter schools in their pursuit of academic excellence.   
     
WHO WE ARE
 
 
Caroline Roemer Shirley, Executive Director
Caroline has 20 years of experience organizing, developing, and managing corporate and political communications strategies and public policy initiatives.  As the Executive Director of the Association, 
she is building a statewide coalition of charter school leaders, board members, and charter proponents.  
Contact Caroline at croemer@lacharterschools.org
 
Andrea Chen, Membership & Programs Director
As a former New Orleans public school teacher, Andrea Chen has supervised the development and certification of teachers through the University of New Orleans Graduate School of Education, The New Teacher Project, and Teach For America.  She is a graduate of Stanford University, where she majored in Philosophy and Anthropological Sciences, earned her M.Ed. in Education Policy and Management from the University of New Orleans and Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Contact Andrea at achen@lacharterschools.org 
 
Elizabeth Garrett, Communications Director
Elizabeth is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in Business Marketing.  Since graduation, she has worked in marketing for the Community Coffee Company.  Before joining LAPCS, she participated in outreach efforts for the Louisiana Children's Museum and the New Orleans Mission. 
Contact Elizabeth at egarrett@lacharterschools.org
 
 
In This Issue
Policy News
DOE Update
Arne Duncan's Visit
Charter Chat
Job Postings
Grant Opportunities
Upcoming Events
Articles of Interest
Teacher of the Year

SAVE THE DATE!
2009 Louisiana Charter Schools Conference
September 11-12, 2009
New Orleans, La

***See more information about venue and keynote speakers in "Events" below***

Staples 

Interested in saving 15-85% off the list-price on office and classroom supplies? 

 Learn more about our STAPLES Statewide Charter Schools Buying Program open to all LAPCS members!  Click HERE!
 

 

GOOD NEWS!  
N.O. Sci High receives $10,000 donation from Dept. of Energy!
At the 2009 DOE Information Management Conference in New Orleans, Sci High was presented the grant.  Sci High was "adopted" by the DOE earlier this year and even held an essay contest for students! 
 
Ben Franklin Student awarded full athletic scholarship to Tulane University
 
Candice St. Etienne
signed a full athletic scholarship to Tulane awarded for her academic achievement and performance on the track.  Go Candice!
 
ADVANCE Baton Rouge collects over 200 books for EBR charter schools! 
 
ADVANCE Baton Rouge collected over 200 books, as well as cash to buy new books, for Prescott Middle, Glen Oaks Middle, and Point Coupee Central High.  The event was a "Bring Your Own Book" fundraiser at the Red Star bar in Baton Rouge featuring the local band, the Benjy Davis Project.  
 
Children's Charter School in Baton Rouge Recognized for Orchestra Program!
 
Click HERE to read about the program, a partnership with the Baton Rouge Symphony, that is bringing high quality music instruction to the kids at Children's Charter.

Lafayette Academy and Warren Easton Senior High School featured in Charter Schools Today Magazine!

See the "Featured Articles" section below to read the articles distributed to a nationwide audience.

 
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