So, I have been breaking my own blogging rules. I really try to post at least once a week. I even recently did a workshop at a regional conference about blogging and using social media as an education researcher and I made the point to those in attendance that it is imperative that you make a commitment to writing regularly. There is nothing more annoying than a dead-end blog. In an effort to stop breaking my own rules I am posting today.
I didn’t post last week because I was out of New Orleans. I was at the Mid-South Education Research Association (MSERA) conference at Ole Miss and then at the College For Every Student (CFES) national conference in Burlington, VT.
I want to spend a moment talking a little more about MSERA. This was a wonderful regional conference and I found the climate to be very supportive of graduate students. If you are in AR, LA, MS, AL, TN, or KY I highly suggest adding this conference to your schedule for next year. MSERA 2012 will be held in Lexington, KY. I had a great time at the conference with my colleagues from the University of New Orleans. Many thanks to fellow doctoral student Shannon Chaisson for getting me involved and congratulations to Shannon for being elected as Graduate Student Representative to the MSERA board.
In case you’re interested in what I was up to at those conferences, here are the links to my conference Prezis. I promise a more substantive post soon. If you’re in Louisiana don’t forget to keep an eye on the BESE district run-offs!
Understanding Performance Incentives in Postsecondary Policy: The Case of Louisiana
To Blog or Not To Blog? Branding Yourself With Social Media
College Success: Strategies to Ensure Our Scholars Cross the Finish Line
Posted in Access, Education, Finance, Higher Education, Louisiana, Policy, State Government
Tagged blogging, CFES, college success, conference presentations, Conley, Louisiana state policy, MSERA, postsecondary performance incentives, Tinto, twitter
So over the summer I have finally started to actively attend YLC (Young Leadership Council) events. On Friday, I attended this month’s Leadership Luncheon at Dookie Chase Restaurant. The food was great, the conversation was great and RSD superintendent, John White, was interesting and engaging.
I found White to be a dynamic speaker. His message about the RSD and the future of public education in New Orleans was extremely hopeful. I appreciated his idealism.
Community engagement figured prominently in his remarks and in audience questions. White said that we need to reach a point where the leadership for school change and reform comes from parents and community members “pulling” the reforms, rather than reforms being “pushed” by bureaucrats and technocrats.
White also discussed a potential plan for re-directing the $50 per student that is currently used to fund an alternative school. White suggested that these funds could be used for prevention services in order to prevent expulsion of students and other issues that create the need for an alternative school. He also suggested that prevention services (mental health, counseling, etc.) would need to be provided under new models; that simply putting one more social worker in a school would not be the solution. New models for intervention and prevention are needed.
College and career readiness was also a topic White touched upon. White said that college-ready was not the right fit for all students, but schools focusing on career-readiness would need to create partnerships with the business community in order to ensure that students would indeed be career ready. Of White’s remarks, this is one area where I am not in agreement with him. I believe that all students need some sort of post-secondary education. I could get on board with a career readiness model, if it included something like dual-enrollment with a community and technical college so that students were leaving high school with a meaningful credential. I am a little leery that career-readiness programs will shift students away from academically rigorous curricula. Why can’t all students be college-ready even if they choose not to attend college? Why can’t college-ready be the minimum standard? And by college-ready, I mean ready for college-level work (without the need for extensive remediation). Couldn’t ready for community college without remediation be the minimum standard?
Despite my criticism in the paragraph above, I left the luncheon excited about the future of public education in New Orleans. White’s optimism is encouraging and he gave those in attendance on Friday many reasons to be hopeful.
Posted in Access, Charter Schools, Education, New Orleans, P-12 Education
Tagged Dookie Chase, John White, Recovery School District, RSD, RSD 100 Days, RSD Superintendent, Young Leadership Council