Issue # 11
February 2010

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 Update

There was no scheduled BESE meeting for the month of February.  The March BESE meeting will take place March 9-11. 2010.


Governor Bobby Jindal appointed a new member of BESE as a replacement for his past appointment, Tammie McDaniel who resigned from her appointmentdue to "unprecedented federal intervention" in public schools.

Click Here to read an interview with Mrs. McDaniel in the Monroe News Star

Mrs. Bradford is a principal of a private school in Ruston, Louisiana, and has a  long history as an educator.  In a statement released by Governor Jindal's office, the governor is quoted as saying that Mrs. Bradford "supports the types of reforms we need to make in our education system."
Charter 1st Fridays debuts at New Orleans College Prep
        A visit to a classroom during NOCP's Charter 1st Friday

A new program called Charter First Fridays invites the community to visit, tour and learn about public charter schools. Created by the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, Charters First Fridays kicked off at New Orleans College Prep on February 5, 2010.  Read below about one attendee, New Orleans Mayoral Candidate Troy Henry's experience at New Orleans College Prep.
"Across the nation, high-quality charter schools are providing families and children with an education that was not available to them 18 years ago. In cities like New York City, Chicago, and Boston, charter schools are working to close the achievement gap and transform children's lives. Still, most people have never seen these inspiring public schools in action," said National Alliance for Public Charter Schools President and CEO Nelson Smith. "Charter First Fridays seeks to change that by setting up regular opportunities for members of the public to visit a charter school and get involved in the movement where they live."

The first Friday of every month, the LAPCS will assist a charter school in opening it's doors to the community.  This is a great opportunity for the business community, prospective parents and students, and the general public to step inside a charter school and witness firsthand the innovation in learning that takes place.

On March 5, 2010, Akili Academy in New Orleans and Kenilworth Science and Technology Charter School in Baton Rouge will be the schools participating in Charter First Fridays.

If you are interested in participating in the Charter First Fridays program, please contact Elizabeth Garrett at
Charter Chat with Troy Henry

Mr. Troy Henry was a 2010 mayoral candidate for the city of New Orleans.  He currently is the president of Henry Consulting, a management consulting firm in New Orleans, which he founded.

  You recently visited New Orleans College Prep charter school in New Orleans. What compelled you to want to visit a charter school?
Answer:  I was extended an invitation as a Mayoral Candidate for the City of New Orleans. With education being a priority need for the City and an issue that I personally feel strongly about, I felt it was a priority to visit schools that have proven themselves and are working well.    

Question:  Were there things that impressed you or surprised you about the charter school you visited?
Answer:  Absolutely. I was impressed with the disciplined environment and the focus on higher education and college admittance. The enthusiasm of the faculty and staff was also very impressive and encouraging to see.   
Question:   Would you recommend or encourage other business people or policy makers to visit a charter school in their area?  If so, why?
Answer:  Yes.With the issues faced by the educational system, it's important for these individuals to look to non-traditional settings to gain an appreciation of innovations, approaches and methods to solving urban educational challenges.
Job Listings 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

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.

Come join the fun at Tulane University in New Orleans for the Sally Ride Science Festival.
Date: Saturday, March 13, 2010
Place: The Tulane School of Science and Engineering at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana
Time: 11:00pm to 4:15pm
Fee: $20
Presented by Northrop Grumman Foundation, the Sally Ride Science

Festival includes:
· An inspiring talk by a featured scientist
· Discovery workshops for girls, which may be given by local veterinarians, astronomers, microbiologists and more
· Workshops for parents and teachers on ways to support girls' interests in science
· A street fair with booths, hands-on activities, food, and music
While our festivals are primarily focused on encouraging 5th-8th grade girls to pursue their interests in science, everyone is welcome to attend!

Don't miss out-sign up now at
Or call us at 1.800.561.5161
See you there!
Sally Ride Science

P.S. You can now follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

4th Annual Certified Teachers Fair
Saturday, May 15th, 2010   9 a.m. - 1 p. m.
Xavier University Student Center
Third Floor Ballroom
4980 Dixon Street, New Orleans
Open to all charter schools in the state.  Charter Schools can register on the Eastbank Collaborative web site.

This year, the Schools Expo will be held Saturday, March 27, 2010 at the University of New Orleans, Lindy Boggs Conference Center from 10am-2pm. The Schools Expo seeks to increase awareness about school choice, familiarize parents with the common application process (the application tool used to make school registration seamless for parents) and provide all children in New Orleans access to many of the public schools.

The Schools Expo reaches more than 300 low to moderate income families by providing parents an opportunity to submit their Common Application timely and to obtain information on schools and other community programs all in one location. In creating this unique opportunity for parents to interface with multiple school leaders at one time and in one location, we also strive to create a day of fun for the whole family by providing food, drinks, and activities for kids. Additionally, each family receives a uniform voucher (valued at $25) and backpacks with schools supplies to ensure students are prepared for the first day of school.

For more information, contact the Urban League at 504.620.2332
New Orleans Members Advisory Council
The LAPCS Members Advisory Council is a key organizational component in identifying problem issues, setting priorities, gathering data, communicating important issues, resolving problems, and more.  

Next Baton Rouge MAC Meeting:

When:  March 2, 2010, 4:00 P.M.

Where: Community School for Apprenticeship Learning

Next New Orleans MAC Meeting:

When:  April 2010
Where: New Orleans School TBD

To register to attend the MAC Meeting, please email
Welcome New LAPCS Members!

New School Members:

Crestworth Learning Academy, Baton Rouge

New Vendor Members:


Therapy Solutions Unlimited currently services Charter Schools throughout the United States.  We cover all disciplines including Speech-Language Pathology, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Psychology and Social Work through our extraordinary network of therapists.  Our Therapists are available for medical/maternity leaves, short-term assignments, per-diem assignments, part-time and full-time positions.  
"I have worked closely with Dearborn for the last five years and highly recommend them as a related service provider in Louisiana. During the course of our working relationship, Dearborn has grown as National Heritage Academies has grown, from the service of a few schools in eastern Michigan to, presently, 29 schools throughout the southern lower peninsula of Michigan, central and northern Indiana, and southern Ohio. Dearborn is proactive in meeting the needs of NHA, having developed a wide recruitment network to fill the multiple Speech/Language and Occupational Therapy positions we require, refill those positions, again, if their providers leave their employment , and regularly training their team in current practices in the areas of their discipline at Dearborn's own expense. They have also put in place a network of regional site coordinators to oversee operations in the many areas and states they serve. Dearborn is a company of integrity and having set a very high bar of professionalism for their central office and service providers, has richly benefited the schools of National Heritage Academies."
- David Baas - Senior Special Education Supervisor, National Heritage Academies   
To learn more call Lea Stephens today at (313) 605-4413



Articles of Interest 
"Why we're failing our schools"
TIME Magazine
January 28, 2010

A remarkable thing happened in New York recently: the state legislature, in effect, turned down the chance to win $700 million in federal money. No one does that, except extremely conservative Southern governors (who inevitably relent and take the money) - oh, and occasionally teachers' unions. A few years ago, I wrote here about the Detroit union that forced the local government to reject a $200 million philanthropic gift to build 15 charter schools using a model that was already succeeding in the city. And now we have New York's United Federation of Teachers (UFT), a storied crew, thwarting the state's attempt to file an application that might have won $700 million in Race to the Top education funds - and again the issue is charter schools, with a substantial dollop of teacher accountability thrown in.

"Struggling public schools should get more management flexibility, Gov. Bobby Jindal says"
The Times Picayune
February 4, 2010

Low-performing public schools that are under threat of state takeover would get new freedom to waive some state regulations under a proposal unveiled Thursday by Gov. Bobby Jindal. Local school districts would be allowed to seek four-year waivers from curriculum requirements, textbook requirements, teacher tenure rules, salary schedules and other regulations authored by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

"Lawmakers to launch bipartisan effort to rewrite No Child Left Behind"
The Washington Post
February 18, 2010

The Washington Post reports that a group of senior House Republicans and Democrats have teamed up to rewrite the No Child Left Behind Law, in "a rare show of bipartisanship in the polarized Congress." Rep. George Miller described it as "the best opportunity we have had to have really substantial change in how we meet the educational needs of our kids."

"Students at Charter High Schools More to Likely to Graduate College"
The Huffington Post
February 22, 2010

An op-ed in the Huffington Post describes a new study which found that students attending charter high schools are seven to 15 percentage points more likely to earn a diploma and eight to 10 percentage points more likely to attend college than students attending traditional public high schools. The sample group studied had all attended a charter school in 8th grade. The study, conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Florida State University, Michigan State University and RAND, was reported on last week by Education Next.

About Us 
The mission of the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools (LAPCS) is to increase student achievement by supporting, promoting, and advocating for the quality charter school movement.

Caroline Roemer Shirley, Executive Director
Contact Caroline at
Andrea Chen, Membership & Programs Director
Contact Andrea at 
Elizabeth Garrett, Communications Director
Contact Elizabeth at

Renita Thukral, Policy Director
Contact Renita at

Sherman Whites, Business & Operations Director
Contact Sherman at
In This Issue
BESE Update
Charter 1st Fridays
Charter Chat: Troy Henry
Job Postings
Grant Opportunities
Upcoming Events


Charter School Day
at the Capitol

May 6, 2010

Stay tuned for the schedule of events!

Kenilworth Science & Technology School Leader honored by Baton Rouge Business Report

Cuneyt Dokmen, the former school leader of Abramson Science & Tech in New Orleans, and current leader of Kenilworth in Baton Rouge was named one of the Baton Rouge Business Report's "2010 People to Watch"  Congratulations!  Read More.

Lake Forest Elementary Charter School was selected as a 2009 National Title I Distinguished School for "Exceptional Student Performance for 2 or More Years."

Lake Forest's Principal Mardele Early and three fourth-grade teachers traveled to Washington, D.C., to accept the award.  Congratulations! Read More.

New Orleans Science & Math Academy featured on Good Morning America!

Click the link for the video, "New Orleans' Comeback:  From the 'Aints' to the Saints."  Sci Academy seen around the 3 minute mark.  Read More.

Konica Minolta Colorful Tomorrow Foundation Announces 2010 Scholarship Program to McDonogh 15 Students

Konica Minolta Colorful Tomorrow Foundation (CTF) scholarship program allows three graduating eighth-grade students from McDonogh 15 to attend top-rated, private New Orleans high schools.
Thanks, Konica!

3rd Annual Louisiana Charter Schools Conference

October 15-16, 2010

Hilton Riverside Hotel
New Orleans

Stay tuned for more information.


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!



Click HERE to become a fan of the LAPCS Facebook Page!