04/15 - Back on Track: Louisiana Graduates | Louisiana Public Square | LPB
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Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Video Playlist:

Play Button  Full Program - Full Program
Play Button  Extra - Don’t do it - Brittni Davis, a teen mom and Youth Challenge Program graduate, doesn’t think people should be teen parents.
Play Button  Extra - Not about you anymore - Brittni Davis, a teen mom who dropped out of school, says once you’re a parent your outlook needs to change.
Play Button  Extra - An All-Time High - Ken Bradford, assistant Superintendent with the La. Department of Ed, reviews the state’s recent graduation rate numbers.
Play Button  Extra - Jump Start - Ken Bradford, assistant Superintendent with the La. Department of Ed, explains the state’s new Jump Start program to keep students engaged in school and job-ready.
Play Button  Extra - Two Diploma Paths - Ken Bradford, assistant Superintendent with the La. Department of Ed, describes the two diploma paths students can now take in high school.
Play Button  Extra - Mentorship - David Thomas says his Big Buddy mentor in fifth-grade made him the adult he is today.
Play Button  Extra - One of those goals - John Brooks, a Jump Start welding student, feels that graduating from high school is essential.
Play Button  Extra - Close to graduation - Destiny Heaton says the first step into the La. Technical and Community College System’s WorkReady U was a high school equivalency degree.
Play Button  Extra - It’s been awesome - Destiny Heaton describes how the La. Technical and Community College System’s WorkReady U program has prepared her for a career.

04/15 - Back on Track: Louisiana Graduates

What help is available for Louisiana students who have dropped out of school?

Louisiana’s graduation rate has jumped nearly ten points over the last decade. Despite this significant improvement, in some cases graduation still is not the norm, even among middle and high-income families in the state. This Wednesday, Louisiana Public Square brings together former dropouts and at-risk students who have remained in school thanks to the intervention of a caring adult and resources available in the state. Hear these students’ stories of success on a special town hall presentation, “Back on Track: Louisiana Graduates” airing statewide Wednesday, April 22 at 7 p.m. on LPB HD and WLAE in New Orleans.

The panelists are:
• Gayle Flowers, Director of Caddo Parish Career, Adult & Alternative Education
• Alonzo "Lonnie" Luce, PhD; Superintendent of St. James Parish Schools
• Frank Phinney, President of the Louisiana School Counselor Association
• Dominique Ricks, a graduate of the Baton Rouge Youth Coalition program
• Jeanne Solis, Central Louisiana Area Health Education Center

The program features interviews of Ken Bradford with Louisiana’s Department of Education; Brittni Davis, a teen mom who graduated through the Louisiana National Guard’s Youth Challenge Program; John Brooks, a current welding student in the Jump Start Program; David Thomas, who overcame behavioral issues through the intervention of a Big Buddy mentor; and Destiny Heaton, who came from an abusive background and is now ready to graduate from the Mansfield Technical College thanks to the Louisiana Community and Technical College System’s WorkReady U program.

LPB News anchor Shauna Sanford and Council for A Better Louisiana (CABL) president Barry Erwin host the discussion.

Funding for this project is provided by the American Graduate Program and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. For more information on Louisiana’s dropout problem, visit www.lpb.org/americangraduate.
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Web Resources


Louisiana HS Grad Rates - provided by La. Dept. of Education

WorkReady U Program - LCTCS program for adults re-entering school

High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) Prep - provided by Kentucky Educational Television. Contact LPB's Adult Education Coordinator Gary Mire for more information.

Baton Rouge Youth Coalition (BRYC) - Helping high-achieving, under-resourced high school students to excel

Big Buddy Program - A mentoring program for youth

Louisiana Jump Start - Career program for La. students

Louisiana National Guard Youth Challenge Program - Alternative education route for teens

Caddo Career and Technical Center - Empowering students in the Caddo Parish area to meet the demands of the workforce or pursue post-secondary education

Central Louisiana Area Health Education Center - Resources on teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and STD prevention

Louisiana School Counselor Association - Has the mission of improving school counseling standards and advancing the School Counselor career

City Year - Helping students succeed in Louisiana

Louisiana Leadership Institute - Teaching leadership skills

Boys Hope Girls Hope - A residential program for children-in-need

Outstandingly/diverse panelists
But must say, the young man, Dominique
Ricks, is a shining example of overcoming obstacles that many students use as excuses.  He articulated very, very well what he experienced and what he did to move on and up and now he is giving back.  I salute him!

Posted by Eileen K.  on  04/23  at  11:09 AM

This is great as something is being done to educate students on how they can manage their study more effectively.
Simply put, this article is an excellent one that should be shared, recommended and conveyed to all students regardless of level of indebtedness.

Posted by Akilles Sakerhet  on  04/29  at  01:47 AM

Educators are doing best from their side, because schools are merged with advance technology with school apps and many more.

Posted by James  on  06/06  at  12:42 AM
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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.

Thank you to our sponsors!
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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


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Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?

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