Amid critical report, educators at Louisiana's alternative schools aid 'tough students that need a lot of attention'

Monday, 13 November 2017, 09:58:06 AM. In the rugged world of alternative schools, overage students saddled with academic and behavioral problems are one step away from the streets.
In the rugged world of alternative schools, overage students saddled with academic and behavioral problems are one step away from the streets. "I think we have some tough kids who need a lot of attention," said Elizabeth Ostberg, the Harvard-educated principal of the NET Charter High School, Gentilly campus. A state report last month said Louisiana's roughly three dozen alternative schools and 139 programs are riddled with problems and often fail to help the 18,000 students who use them. Report: Louisiana too quick to toss troubled, especially black students; alternative schools not helping Public schools are too quick to toss students with behavior problems, and most students fail to get the help they need when they are assigned … But most taxpayers barely have a clue about the schools, which until recently sparked little attention in public education circles. These are the kids who dropped out or got kicked out of traditional schools, usually from busted families and sometimes with babies of their own and little hope of catching up. On any given day, three in 10 youngsters are absent from Ostberg's newly opened school on Franklin Avenue in New Orleans. Ostberg said some of the absences are due to "not having child care, mental health issues, housing instability, taking care of family, working. "And because they are so far behind academically, if you are not here 100 percent of the time, it is hard for you to make progress." Showing up for classes is just one of a...Read more
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