School reform advocate Kira Orange Jones is running for state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
This is very exciting – I know Kira Orange Jones and she rocks!
It's official: Kira Orange Jones is running to represent New Orleans on the state education board.
Just about everyone involved in the city's schools has waited for months to learn whether Orange Jones, who heads the local Teach for America office, would challenge incumbent Louella Givens for a seat on the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, or BESE.
It's likely to be a closely watched campaign and a major test of public support for the reform movement that has reshaped the city's public schools since Hurricane Katrina.
Givens, a New Orleans lawyer and former teacher, has been a thorn in the side of that movement, voting consistently against former state Education Superintendent Paul Pastorek as he pushed to take over low-performing schools, convert most of them into independent charters and weaken the power of local school boards.
…Orange Jones grew up in the Bronx section of New York. She spent two years in Baton Rouge as a TFA fourth-grade teacher, earned a master's degree in education from Harvard and founded a nonprofit called Right Quick Productions, a group aimed at educating students in documentary filmmaking. She moved to New Orleans to head the local Teach for America office in 2007.