Issue # 18
November 2010


BESE met October 19-21st, 2010 in Baton Rouge.  The conversation focused on TRSL.

TRSL testified before the State Authorized School Oversight Committee Tuesday, October 19th, forcing BESE to consider two issues:  a) whether opting-out of TRSL should be considered a material or non-material amendment; and b) whether a school that chooses to opt-out must provide documentation of teachers' consent to the change.  The first issue was discussed at length; the second issue was touched upon but BESE members did not focus on it.

TRSL urged BESE to treat opting-out as a material amendment, and BESE member Linda Johnson suggested the Board request an Attorney General opinion on the issue.  Superintendent Pastorek reminded the Board that the policy was clear; according to Bulletin 126, he argued, opting-out of TRSL must be treated as a non-material amendment.  As such, Superintendent Pastorek asserted no Attorney General opinion was needed.  Instead, he requested the Department of Education study the issue before the December 2010 BESE meeting and bring findings to BESE at that time.

The contours of the Department's study were not determined.

BESE member Chas Roemer suggested that legislators be invited to hear the Department's presentation in December, as several legislators, including Speaker of the House Jim Tucker, are proponents of moving away from the state's defined benefits plan which is bankrupting the state.

BESE member Penny Dastugue also requested the item be referred to the Finance Committee for further consideration.  Specifically, she requested a study on why TRSL costs are rising so dramatically; she argued that such rising costs are impossible for schools - both traditional schools and charter schools - to afford.

Finally, BESE member Walter Lee questioned whether these rising TRSL costs must be borne by LEA's, arguing instead that such costs might be the state's responsibility.  He stated this issue is currently being considered by the courts, and a decision may be forthcoming in the ensuing months.

No further action may be taken re: opting out of TRSL until after the Board receives the Department's study in December.


The Accountability Commission met on October 18th, 2010.  The LAPCS representative on this committee is Anna Caminita of ADVANCE Baton Rouge.  The next meeting is schedule for December 1, 2010.  The LAPCS and Ms. Caminta want to hear from you on these issues.  Please feel free to e-mail Anna directly at

10/18/2010 Commission Meeting

Topic I- Implementing Letter Grades in Accountability

Discussion was centered around assigning a grade to schools for accountability.

Two approaches were presented:

1. "Combined Labels Approach"-Use existing SPS labels (stars, AUS) and attach a grade. Adjust the grade based on growth. (If the school made the growth target the letter would go up one level.)

2. "Combined Points Approach"-Combine "status" and "growth" to create a score and then attach a letter grade.

See Powerpoint HERE.


(The commission was unable to decide just yet. The DOE will be gathering data as to how other states use the letter approach for the next meeting December 1st.)


Topic 2- Accountability for Alternative Schools

The discussion was regarding how scores should be reported for students in the alternative schools. Currently, alternative school SPSs are sent to the district, but are not released publically. Superintendent Pastorek is concerned about the lack of accountability within alternative schools. Superintendent stated that he will be getting a task force together to discuss this further and to come to a decision for the next BESE meeting.

See Powerpoint HERE.


Topic 3- Follow-up on High School EOC Transition Plan

Last month we discussed alternatives for phasing-in End of Course Test (EOC) in the accountability system with a focus on how to identify students to be included in annual accountability determinations. Today we recapped the outcomes of the meeting and discussed the importance of the EOC tests in accountability. The LDOE is confident they can incorporate EOCs into the SPS in a way that is fair to students and schools, and meets the guiding principles stated by the accountability commission. The commission was not in total agreement. No decision was made.

See Powerpoint HERE.



Pursuant to law passed during the 2010 legislative session, State Superintendent Pastorek has created an Educator Evaluation Advisory Committee that will make recommendations to BESE regarding the use of value-added data in educator evaluations as well as several other specific tasks.   The committee will consist of representatives from several organizations including the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools (LAPCS). 

The LAPCS representative for this committee is Rhonda Dale-Hart of Sci Academy.  Following is her first report.  Please contact Andrea Chen if you have any questions regarding this issue at

We spent most of our time during the first ACEE committee meeting learning about ACT 54 and how value added performance evaluation can be fair to teachers and give a more accurate picture of teacher performance by measuring the growth that a student makes from the time he or she enters a class to the time that he/she exits the class. 

Each student will be issued a number based on a complicated equation that takes into account a myriad of student demographics (including previous test scores and socio-economic status). The law specifies that 50 percent of educator evaluations are to be based on evidence of growth in student achievement using a value-added calculation for grade levels and subjects when value-added data is available. We discussed that there would be accountability developed for subjects not regularly seen as high stakes  (we were charged with establishing measures of student growth for personnel who teach grade levels and subjects for which value-added data is not available).  This value-added performance evaluation will be required for all public schools-including charter schools.  We elected Co-Chairs of the committee to be Randy Ewing and Louisiana Teacher of the Year Holly Boffy.


Measuring Teacher and Leader Performance: Cross-Sector Lessons for Excellent Evaluations

For too long, performance measurement systems in education have failed to document and recognize real differences among educators.

A recent national push to use performance evaluations for critical education personnel decisions has highlighted the shortcomings of our current systems and increased the urgency to improve them dramatically. This report, written with support from The Joyce Foundation, summarizes best practices and research from other sectors into six steps for education leaders who want accurate, reliable, and meaningful information about educators' performance.

These steps are:

1. Determine the purposes of performance measurement;

2. Choose job objectives that align with the organization's mission;

3. Design performance measures to clarify and stimulate staff actions that contribute to success;

4. Set performance standards so that leaders and staff know what good performance looks like;

5. Design the performance measurement process thoughtfully; and

6. Use measurement results to take action.

For more on each of these steps for effective performance measurement, read the report HERE.


In a report released Monday by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, New Orleans was, once again, the top city in the country for charter school market share.  Based on 2009-2010 data, the city has 61% of it's public school students attending charter schools, the highest in the nation.  Washington D.C. and Detroit were the two runner ups for the tops spot with 38% and 36%, respectively.

The district rose from the 57% reported in last year's report, and is expected to continue to grow as ten new charter schools opened in New Orleans for the 2010 school year.

Read the National Report HERE.
LA Department of Education
Press Release
October 22, 2010

BATON ROUGE, La - Today, the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) outlined a cost savings plan of more than $6.3 million to address the state's mid-year deficit. While Department leaders say the cuts are necessary, they emphasized the support and commitment of the Governor's Office and the Division of Administration to minimize the impact of these reductions on districts, schools, and most importantly, the more than 650,000 K-12 students enrolled in the state's public schools.

"The LDOE and the Administration clearly recognize and understand what is at stake when we're deliberating potential reductions to education funding," State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek said. "After a great deal of study and analysis, we proposed recommendations that are designed to minimize the impact of these necessary reductions on our districts, schools and students."

Included in the adjustment is a reduction of $5 million for the state's Literacy and Numeracy program, which can be supported through alternative sources of funding.

Read the rest of this press release HERE.

The United Fresh Produce Association would like to donate between 10-30 physical salad bars to New Orleans-area charter schools.  They have already made donations but would like to do more based on interest.  If your school is interested in this donation and can make a commitment to stock the salad bar with fresh produce, please contact Andrew Marshall, Policy and Grassroots Manager at United Fresh Produce Association at, (202) 303-3407.  He will be in town on December 9, 2010 and would like to meet with business managers to discuss this donation.

"Fighting Charter Stigma:  Denver School Opens Program for Disabled Students"
Huffington Post
October 26, 2010

Charter schools have long been criticized for being selective with their admissions, a trait that critics say accounts for the better test scores at charter schools that outperform traditional public schools.

"How to fix our schools: A manifesto by Joel Klein, Michelle Rhee and other education leaders"
Washington Post
October 10, 2010

As educators, superintendents, chief executives and chancellors responsible for educating nearly 2 1/2 million students in America, we know that the task of reforming the country's public schools begins with us. It is our obligation to enhance the personal growth and academic achievement of our students, and we must be accountable for how our schools perform.

"America's lesson for British classrooms"
Telegraph U.K.
November 1, 2010

Michael Gove's plans for 'free schools' will get a boost this week with a visit from the like-minded US education secretary. Alex Spillius reports from Washington.


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:

Office Depot Foundation Grants (November 15, 2010)

IRA: Eleanor M. Johnson Elementary Teacher Award (November 15, 2010)

Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program (December 15, 2010)


The Gates Millennium Scholar Program Announces

2011 Scholarship Application is Available

The 2011 Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) scholarship application is available at GMS will select 1,000 talented students to receive a good-through-graduation scholarship to use at any U.S. accredited college or university of their choice. The scholarship is renewable up to five years for a student's undergraduate degree in any discipline; and continuing Gates Millennium Scholars can be funded through their terminal degree in the seven GMS funded graduate fields. GMS is more than a scholarship, Gates Scholars are provided personal and professional development through leadership programs along with academic support throughout their college career.

Students are eligible if they:

  • Are African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American or Hispanic American
  •   Are citizens/legal permanent residents or nationals of the United States;
  • Have attained a cumulative GPA of 3.3 on an unweighted 4.0 scale or earned a GED; 
  • Will enroll for the first time at a U.S. located, accredited college or university (with the exception of students concurrently pursuing a high school diploma) in the fall of 2011 as a full-time, degree-seeking, first-year student. First-time college enrollees can also be GED recipients.
  • Have demonstrated leadership abilities through participation in community service, extracurricular or other activities; and
  • Meet the Federal Pell Grant eligibility criteria
  • Have completed and submitted all three required forms: the student's application (Nominee Personal Information Form), an evaluation of the student's academic record (Nominator Form) and an evaluation of the student's community service and leadership activities (Recommender Form) by the deadline


The application deadline is Monday, January 10, 2011; so for more information and access to apply for the GMS scholarship, visit today.

 Upcoming Talks, Lectures, and Conferences at Tulane University

Saturday, November 13, 2010
Through a Crowd, Bravely: 50th Anniversary of Public School Desegregation in New Orleans

6:00 - 8:00 pm

Tulane University | Freeman Auditorium | Woldenberg Art Complex

Please see Tulane Map for building and street locations.
A reunion and panel discussion on the integration of New Orleans' William Frantz and McDonogh No. 19 elementary schools in November 1960. Sponsored by the Amistad Research Center as well as Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, Louisiana Center for Civil Rights and Social Justice, and U.S. Marshals Museum. For more information, please click here.


Saturday December 4, 2010
Hip Hop Literacy Model II
9:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Tulane University | Lavin-Bernick Center | Room 202-Rechler Conference Room

Please see Tulane Map for building and street locations.
This professional development workshop addresses how hip hop as a generational phenomenon can be used to foster mutual understanding and open communication between teachers and parents about school culture, classroom discipline & management, and parental involvement.  Participation is open to pre- and in-service Pre-K-12 grade teachers in New Orleans. For more information contact Nghana Lewis via email to or by phone at 504-862-8179.

Pelican Leadership Luncheon with BESE President Penny Dastugue

Abramson Science & Technology Charter School is hosting a leadership luncheon for community and business leaders to promote leadership and to support relationships among the community.

Keynote speaker: BESE President Penny Dastugue

Click HERE to RSVP

Date: November 11, Thursday
Time: 1:00 pm
Place: Abramson Science & Technology Charter School, ST Building #8

Glencoe Charter School 8th Annual Business & Community Open House

Tuesday, November 9, 2010
8:00 A.M. - 11:30 A.M.

On the schedule is a breakfast buffet followed by presentations by business and community leaders.  Please RSVP to Anita Breaux or Yvonne Mannina at 337-923-6900.
Save $100 on the Grantsmanship Training Program...

January 31-February 4, 2011
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

*There are currently no trainings scheduled outside of Baton Rouge for this workshop.  If you would be interested in bringing this workshop to New Orleans, or another city in Louisiana, let us know and we will work with cities where there is a demand. Contact

If you're just starting out in the field, the Grantsmanship Training Program takes you from zero to 60 in five fast-paced, action-packed days--with an expert guide to make sure you never lose your bearings.

But even professionals with years of experience
under their belts report that the Grantsmanship Training Program has:
  • sharpened and updated their skills
  • renewed their energies
  • refreshed their outlook
  • revealed productive directions to explore and
  • inspired new plans of action.
Many professionals who have completed the Grantsmanship Training Program have had outstanding success in securing grant funding, and attribute their success largely to the approaches taught in our training. Years after the training, some return to take the class again as a refresher.

For a day by day agenda, click HERE.

Tuition for the Grantsmanship Training Program is $895. To ensure personalized attention, class size is limited.

Location, parking information, and suggested hotels will be posted shortly. Check back here.

To reserve a place in this training program, click here. Or call The Grantsmanship Center's Registrar at (800) 421-9512 or (213) 482-986

Save $100! 
You will save $100 if
we receive your tuition payment of $795 by December 31, 2010. To take advantage of this discount, use Promo Code 100EBD.
Offer expires December 31, 2010, and is limited to The Grantsmanship Center's Grantsmanship Training Program offered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, January 31-February 4, 2011. This discount may not be combined with any other discount or promotional offer.
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.


At Abacus Charter School Consulting, LLC we train, mentor, and support financial and operational professionals dedicated to building high-performing charter schools. Our accounting, operations, and technology experts will work directly with your leadership team to navigate the charter school landscape while helping you find solutions that are true to the mission and vision of your school.

Founded in 1991, the Alliance for Community Development is committed to helping educators better serve their students through innovative programs and services.  We specialize in Staff and Faculty Empowerment, School-Family-Community Partnerships, and board compliance and development.  Please visit us on the web @, or call us @ (318) 820-7257.

Scholastic, the global children's publishing, education and media company, has a corporate mission supported through all of its divisions of helping children around the world to read and learn. Recognizing that literacy is the cornerstone of a child's intellectual, personal and cultural growth, for nearly 90 years Scholastic has created quality products and services that educate, entertain and motivate children and are designed to help enlarge their understanding of the world around them.

Okapi Educational Publishing, Inc. is a company dedicated to providing engaging materials that help students become critical readers, writers, thinkers and speakers. Our goal is to give teachers the support they need to do this challenging work while providing fascinating books for children that make them enjoy the work!

Since its inception, CDL has worked diligently to develop its international network of teaching and learning experts to create initiatives that use the most current research-based practices that deliver increased student success. CDL's initiatives and services bring advances from the fields of medicine, psychology, and education into the classroom and home to assist children, their families, teachers, schools, universities and the community by Delivering comprehensive, scientific research-based professional learning for teachers, principals, parents and other professionals who serve children; Providing direct services for children and their families through educational evaluations, consultations, and counseling; Mobilizing public engagement through summits, forums, newsletters, and an information-rich website.
About Us 

The mission of the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools (LAPCS) is to support, promote, and advocate for the Louisiana charter school movement, increasing student access to high quality public schools statewide.

Caroline Roemer Shirley, Executive Director
Contact Caroline at

Andrea Chen, Membership & Programs Director
Contact Andrea at

Elizabeth Garrett, Communications Director
Contact Elizabeth at

Donyell McGlathery, Business Manager
Contact Donyell at

Sherman Whites, Business & Operations Director
Contact Sherman at

In This Issue
Policy Update
Public Impact Report
Charter School Market Share Study
Mid-Year LDOE Budget Cuts
Grant Opportunities
Gates Millennium Scholar Program
McDonogh City Park Academy receives KaBOOM! Playground

MCPNO's build day is scheduled for November 13th, 2010 from 8:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. If you are interested in volunteering, please e-mail

Delhi Charter School Teacher receives Milken Award

Master teacher Renee Ward received the Milken Educator Award for excellence in education. Congratulationsd! Read More.

New Orleans Hornets' Chris Paul gives $1 million to KIPP Central City Primary

The donation will help fund an after school program at the New Orleans charter school.  Read More.

New Orleans Charter School Students get Fruit Tree 101

Students at Martin Luther King Charter School, Andrew H. Wilson Charter School and Belle Chasse Academy will learn firsthand about the process of fruit cultivation from planting to harvest, thanks to the Fruit Tree 101 educational program.  Read More.

Please send us any good news about your school!  E-mail


Click HERE for the latest newsletter from the Louisiana Special Education Cooperative.

Contents Include:
  • Hot Issues, the State Complaint & Legal Support for Charter Schools
  • Letter from the LA COOP Chair, Andrea Bond
  • Meet the LA COOP Officers
  • Creating Shared Programs
  • Charter School Board Members Learn More About Special Education
  • Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities


The Louisiana Department of Education announced today the creation of a website to capture public comments regarding Superintendent Pastorek's recommendation for the return of schools to the Orleans Parish School Board.

The Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools (LAPCS) is asking that each charter school board, school leader, parent and any other school supporter submit letters of support for the recommendation.


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!
Questions? Email

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