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Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Panelist Bio


Kenneth Campbell
president of the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO)

Kenneth L. Campbell, a founding Board Member of the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO), was selected as the organization’s President in January 2010. BAEO’s mission is to increase access to high-quality educational options for Black children by supporting parental choice policies and programs that empower low-income and working class Black families. The organization celebrated its tenth anniversary in March during Symposium 2010 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Before he accepted the BAEO presidency, Mr. Campbell had served as Director of Charter Schools for the Louisiana Department of Education since 2007, where he helped to create an environment where charter schools could grow and thrive in New Orleans and the rest of the state.

Mr. Campbell, a strong advocate for high quality educational options for Black children has worked to support the creation of high quality charter schools for more than 15 years. He played a key role in helping to establish a strong charter school movement in Washington, D.C. during the 1990s. He was part of the initial effort that worked to get one of the country’s best charter school laws passed for the District. He also created the D.C. Charter School Resource Center to ensure there was an environment in DC where charter schools could be successful and to teach people how to start new charter schools.

During the 1990’s and early 2000’s, Mr. Campbell helped to establish charter schools in urban areas across the country, working with Mosaica Education, Inc. Prior to his position with the Louisiana Department of Education, he spent almost four year years in Doha, Qatar, where he helped the country’s leadership in its efforts to convert its existing public schools into charter schools, as part of the most progressive school reform effort ever attempted in the Middle East.

Mr. Campbell was also a founding Board Member of Building Excellent Schools, which works to raise the quality of urban charter schools in the United States by helping entrepreneurial individuals design, build and maintain excellent schools in under-served communities while building partnerships and networks of support.

Mr. Campbell served in the United States Army and retired from the U.S. Army Reserve as a Captain in 2005. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Averett College in Virginia and a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from Touro University International. He resides just outside Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife, Shelia and eleven-year-old son.

Current Topic


     08/18 - The Power of Reading

How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?
The ability to read sets the foundation of who we are and what we can be. Through reading we expand our world, learn new things and increase our base of knowledge. In fact, a parent’s reading level is the greatest factor in a child’s academic success. Children who can’t read proficiently by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

In Louisiana, 20 percent of adults are illiterate – five points higher than the national rate. How is Louisiana combatting its illiteracy problem across generational lines? How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?

Louisiana Public Square: The Power of Reading looks for answers and explores the value of lifelong reading through the lens of the PBS series The Great American Read Wednesday, August 22 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recorded Tuesday, August 14 in the Magnolia Performing Arts Pavilion at Baton Rouge Community College.)

Our panelists are:
- Linda-Marie Barrett, Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA)
- Rebecca Hamilton, MLIS; Louisiana State Librarian
- Danny Heitman; Journalist and Louisiana author
- Miranda Restovic, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH).
- Gary Robertson; Adult Literacy Advocates

The program features interviews with John Cavalier, owner of Cavalier House Books; Gary Robertson, Executive Director of Adult Literacy Advocates; representatives from the LEH PRIME TIME intergenerational reading program, and Superintendent John White with the Louisiana Department of Education.

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Robyn Merrick, Southern University VP of External Affairs, host the show.

Louisiana Public Square can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

This episode of Louisiana Public Square is underwritten by Community Coffee’s Cash for Schools Program, the Louisiana Forestry Association, LSU Press and the Southern Independent Booksellers’ Authors Round the South.

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     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

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