AIE Blog

News and notes on innovations and education reform in Louisiana.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Louisiana gets serious about innovation

Reading more deeply into the Leaders and Laggards report issued by the US Chamber of Commerce, the Center for American Progress and Frederick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute, we found that Louisiana is singled out for its commitment to innovation. The study reports that in Louisiana 22% of teachers enter the profession through an alternative certification program, compared with the national average of 13%. Louisiana also received a gold star from the Leaders and Laggards report for participating in national programs authorized to certify nontraditional administrators.

Louisiana has already received high praise for its efforts at innovation from President Obama and his Education Secretary Arne Duncan. That's great news for Louisiana's students, and a clear recognition that our state and its leaders are committed to innovation.

Creating alternate paths to teaching like AIE's Transition to Teaching means that passionate teachers from diverse experiences and professional backgrounds are making their way into classrooms across the state. AIE's Redesigning Lessons, Re-Envisioning Principals program is also providing innovative entrepreneurial leadership training for our state's principals. These innovations are part of the state's larger effort to address old problems with new solutions. That's what innovation is all about in education, and Louisiana's efforts are getting noticed at the national level.

Recently, a group of nationally recognized experts in education innovation gathered in Baton Rouge with the goal of creating two unique and visionary public charter schools. AIE led the design team of educators, architects, technologists and education reformers. These innovators designed a STEM school and a Digital Media Arts school both of which will be housed in the acclaimed Shaw Center for the Arts. Downtown Baton Rouge is excited about welcoming these innovative high schools to the community, and religious and community leaders have mobilized to support these dynamic schools too.

The two schools' applications are currently sitting before the East Baton Rouge School Board. Superintendent Dilworth has publicly praised the community organizing and leadership of Pastor Raymond Jetson in bringing these schools to the attention of eager Baton Rouge area students and their parents. We urge the EBR Board to approve the applications and continue to advance the state's commitment to innovation that our nation's leaders are applauding.


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