The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (BESE) School Innovation and Turnaround Committee will discuss the approval of Charter School Authorizers like New Schools for Baton Rouge (NSBR) on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2015. Independent of local school boards and BESE, Charter School Authorizers will have the power to create Type 1B charters.
According to Agenda Item 2.4, NSBR is applying with BESE to become a Local Charter Authorizer. But who is NSBR? Here is a web that illustrates NSBR’s relationships with different entities throughout Louisiana.
NSBR is supporting the “Portfolio Strategy”: The idea that governments should govern systems of education rather than operate schools. Several of NSBR’s staff members have experience with building Portfolio Districts. For example, NSBR’s CEO Chris Meyer led the Recovery School District’s Office of Portfolio. While Ashley Heard served as a Charter Growth Manager at the Illinois Network of Charter Schools where she helped teams plan charter schools for their communities. As a Broad Resident, Bing Howell built and managed the New Jersey Department of Education’s Office of Portfolio Management responsible for supporting all priority schools in the state.
In “A Playbook for a New Approach in New Orleans,” John White, the State of Louisiana’s Superintendent, and Adam Hawf, a former Assistant Superintendent of the Louisiana Department of Education and a former Deputy Superintendent of the Louisiana Recovery School District wrote:
The spread of portfolio models has changed the national conversation by normalizing ideas about parental choice and who makes decisions in a school. In our own state, we are gratified to see this conversation spread from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, where Chris Meyer of New Schools Baton Rouge is working with faith and civic leaders to expand access to high-quality schools in the most underserved area of the city.
NSBR’s portfolio of schools: Apex Collegiate Academy, Baton Rouge Bridge Academy, Baton Rouge College Preparatory, Celerity Crestworth Charter School, Celerity Dalton Charter School, Celerity Lanier Charter School, Cristo Rey Baton Rouge, Democracy Prep Baton Rouge and University Preparatory Elementary .
However, at 9:37 a.m. on November 30th, BESE sent the following update to their email subscribers:
Please be advised that the School Innovation and Turnaround Committee meeting agenda for Tuesday, December 1, 2015, has been updated to remove Item 2.4: Consideration of certification of Local Charter Authorizers.