A Brief History of the Recovery School District

Prior to Hurricane Katrina, the RSD had control of only five schools in Orleans Parish. After the storm, as a result of a poor reputation, many speculated that the New Orleans Public School System would remain shut down indefinitely. Seeing the hurricane as an opportunity for change, state government decided to take more control, and place approximately 100 additional schools in the RSD. While under this new ruling, these schools would remain in the recovery school district for at least five years. During this time, the schools test scores and overall performance would be evaluated. If these schools reached an acceptable level of academic performance, they would then be returned to local control.

So far, the program has been an overall success for the New Orleans Public School System. Between 2007 and 2010, fourth grade students have increased their pass rates for standardized tests from 49 to 65%. Eighth graders’ pass rates have gone from 44 to 58%. The number of high school students performing on their appropriate grade-level has increased from 42 to 60% in math and 36-52% in English. Additionally, a considerably higher percentage of high schools students are graduating.

Though there are some traditional public schools in the RSD, the majority of it is comprised of charter schools. These schools are nonprofit organizations that control their own budget, make their own decisions regarding hires, and make specific academic decisions, while still receiving federal funding. The new system is also giving more choices to students and parents. There are no longer geographic boundaries that state that a student must go to a specific school based on their district, or what neighborhood they live in. Permits are no longer required to go to “out of district” schools. If a parent or student is not happy with the school that they are attending, for whatever reason, they now have the option to choose a new one. Charter schools are serving the majority of the approximate 24,000 students in the RSD.

The future of the recovery school district is still unclear. Being that the RSD has reached the five year mark, legislation will be held this fall to decide whether or not to continue on the current track of education, or to return the schools back to the local school board. Public opinion believes that the schools should remain in state control, as only 21% of voters stated that they felt the schools should be returned to Orleans Parish School Board. One of the issues at hand is that having two sets of government, one in Baton Rouge (state) and one in New Orleans (local,) isn’t the most ideal situation. With all of this being said, it will be important for local government to provide a stable, productive and helpful plan regarding the future state of New Orleans Public Schools.

Tips to Help You Develop Your Writing Skills

There are as many as millions of people who could have made great career options out of their writing abilities but unable because of their inability to shape up and develop their writing skills.

It is usually a simple but deliberate process which involves consistency and determination. To develop your writing skills, you must firstly, focus on your ability to generate topic ideas and to do this, you may browse your inclinations, search your experiences, interests or thoughts. You may also look around the physical environments for issues, events and other social concerns that may be topical.

Lastly, you can actually surf the internet, look into magazines and books or other materials that may provide such topical information that one can write about.

Once you are able to generate ideas, then try to plan the presentation of your piece, writing down your points and forming your paragraphs in a logical and coherent way.

Ensure to arrange your thoughts chronologically, in a way that will not be confusing to your readers.

The Make Up

To make up your piece of writing, start by choosing a very attractive heading or title because this is where you start to buy readers over. If the title is enchanting, the possibility to catch the interest of the readers starts to build up from here. However this does not necessarily mean that you should strain your brains trying to pick a title before completing the write-up.

You are allowed to take your time and think carefully before choosing your topic. This may be at the beginning, middle, at the end or any time at all before your write up is submitted.

Having said that another important part of your writing is the opening paragraph. This is so essential that if you do not get it right here, your entire write up is not likely to make it at all. In the opening paragraph lies the bulk of the job.

The opening paragraph should be able to give an insight into what readers should expect in the piece they are about to read and they should be held and captivated by what the opening paragraph offers. If this does not happen, the tendency that readers are going to switch off is quite high no matter what great piece the body holds.

Try having your opening paragraph make alluring statements that will tempt your readers to keep reading or ask questions that they will definitely like to find answers to, in your piece or create suspense that will drag them along.

Once you have found a way around your opening paragraph, try breaking up your other points into the body of your writing. Ensure that each paragraph carries its own point, well clarified and analysed. Points may run over paragraphs but do not make paragraphs to long that they will become confusing and boring.

Make sure that your ideas are presented in ways that will be straight forward and easy to understand. When you pack a paragraph with too many ideas, readers are not likely to find it easy digesting what you are trying to say and this may turn them off.

Remember you are writing for diverse people with different levels of understanding and possibly, differing interests and backgrounds.

The body of your writing should always be full of information and answers to questions raised by the tone of your article or write up. You must always give factual account of all your submissions and defend all materials used.

Having said this, the inevitable need for research, becomes uncompromising. The level of research that is put into any write up differentiates someone who knows what he is writing about from the mediocre. Research helps to add relevant information and facts to our presentations and this is a boost on quality, trust and professionalism.

Always ensure to clarify facts and opinions and depending on the type of write up you are doing, make sure your submissions are well presented.

Identify which genre of writing your piece falls into and follow standards of writing for that particular genre, for example article, feature, novel, website content etc.This will enhance your writing and easily be grouped as the case may be.

Always revise your piece of writing before submission and make all necessary corrections, avoid overused words as much as you can and finally, give your writing a notable conclusion.