Monday, October 24, 2011

Kira Orange Jones

Kira Orange Jones, a true ed warrior who is executive director of Teach For America in New Orleans, is running for Louisiana's Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.  She is in the final stretch – the election is on Saturday – and needs our support.  Here's the email she sent me today (I donated $250):


As you have heard, I am making a run at the State Board of Education here in Louisiana and we're in the final push, with election day this Saturday, October 22nd. I know you are fully aware, but there is so much at stake with this election and this fight will impact the direction of reforms across New Orleans as well as the entire state. We've been pushing for months and receiving lots of support, including endorsements from many institutional local organizations and leaders as well as endorsements from Mayor Mitch Landrieu, US Senator Mary Landrieu and US Congressman, Steve Scalise. Many national reformers have mobilized as well. Democrats for Education Reform just featured me as their reformer of the month today:


I wanted to thank you for getting the word out about my race on your blog -- this was extremely helpful.


I have been able to raise more than 250k in funding to date. As I work to get the message out in the final hours of my campaign in the final 48 hours, I am working on raising my final 10k to finalize media buys across my district on radio and television.


I'm reaching out to you to ask if you and others on your blog will help me by making a contribution to my campaign.


Campaign contribution limits are 5k per person, 10k per couple and it is possible to make a contribution on my website at, in 2,500 increments.


Thanks for considering and for your support along the way.


And here's the DFER appeal, which asks you to contact your friends and family in Louisiana to encourage them to vote for Kira:


There's an election this Saturday and we need your help.

Kira Orange Jones, the superstar executive director of Teach For America in New Orleans, is running for Louisiana's Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE). This is definitely an all-hands-on-deck moment.

Description: Description:'s story is amazing. When Kira was a child, her mother pulled her out of a low-performing public school and worked two jobs to pay for parochial school. Kira had to remediate through high school and, with the help of deeply committed teachers, was eventually accepted to college.

After college, she joined Teach For America, beginning in the classroom in Baton Rouge and working her way up to VP of New Site Development.

In 2007, as she finished her masters at Harvard's ed school, Teach For America asked her to run their Greater New Orleans region. In her three years as executive director, she has grown the organization from 70 to 500 teachers and quadrupled the number of schools – the region now reaches nearly half of all New Orleans students.

Still, sitting on the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education could be her highest impact role to date. Electing reformers to the board is absolutely critical to keep things pointing in the right direction.

For once, we're not asking for your money. We're asking you to look through your address book for friends in Louisiana and forward Kira's story to them. These elections are notoriously low turnout. Ask them if they've already voted and, if they haven't, guilt trip them.

Kira is running for BESE District 2, which covers most of New Orleans, the westbank of  Jefferson Parish, and  St. Charles, St. John, St. James, and Assumption Parishes. Please make sure your friends and colleagues have voted, and ask them to forward this along.

If you want more information about Kira or District 2, or you'd like to contribute to her campaign, visit her website:

Thanks, as always.


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