Thursday, July 13, 2017

La. BESE Member Kira Orange Jones and NM Acting Chancellor Chris Ruszkowski Are Married. | deutsch29

La. BESE Member Kira Orange Jones and NM Acting Chancellor Chris Ruszkowski Are Married. | deutsch29:

La. BESE Member Kira Orange Jones and NM Acting Chancellor Chris Ruszkowski Are Married.

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In September 2016, Teach for America (TFA) Executive Director of the Greater New Orleans-Delta Region and Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) member, Kira Orange Jones, announced that she would be leaving her specific TFA post only to move into a higher post overseeing 15 TFA executive directors.
Orange Jones, who has been a solid corporate ed reform ally on Louisiana’s mostly corporate-ed-reform-bent BESE, assures the public that her new post will not alter her residency in New Orleans and will therefore allow her to retain her BESE seat. As Jessica Williams reports in the September 06, 2016, New Orleans Advocate:
Kira Orange Jones, the head of the local branch of the national teacher recruitment organization Teach For America and one of New Orleans’ representatives on the state’s top education board, said Friday she will leave her current job with TFA after nearly a decade.
“After nine and a half incredible years leading Teach For America Greater New Orleans-Louisiana Delta, I am launching the search for my successor,” Jones said in a Friday email to her colleagues.
She isn’t leaving the organization entirely, however. In her new role, she will manage and support the national organization’s executive directors across 15 regions, a job that will not require her to leave New Orleans, she said.
That means she’ll be able to keep the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education seat to which she was elected in 2011.
Orange Jones is one of several BESE members who garnered substantial out-of-state billionaire support for her campaign, both in 2011 and 2015. In 2011 as The Nationreports:
 Last fall, a coterie of extremely wealthy billionaires, among them New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, turned the races for unpaid positions on the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) into some of the most expensive in the state’s history. Seven pro-education “reform” candidates for the BESE outraised eight candidates endorsed by the teacher’s unions by $2,386,768 to $199,878, a ratio of nearly twelve to one. In just one of these races, the executive director of Teach for America Greater New Orleans-Louisiana Delta, Kira Orange Jones, outspent attorney Louella Givens, who was endorsed by the state’s main teacher’s unions, by more than thirty-four to one: $472,382 to $13,815.
To support Orange Jones’s campaign against Givens, Eli Broad, billionaire head of the education reform organization the Broad Foundation and a major trainer and placer of school superintendents, chipped in $5,000. Reed Hastings of Netflix kicked in the same. Houston energy hedge fund billionaire John Arnold and his wife Laura gave a total of $10,000, as did Walmart heiress Carrie Walton Penner and her husband Greg. New York City’s second-wealthiest man, Michael Bloomberg, contributed $10,000 as well.
And the out-of-state billionaire money into the 2015 BESE race outdid that of 2011, with Orange Jones again scoring big. An excerpt from the 2015 Times-Picayune:
Major education activist groups are again spending big on Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education races. More than $3.5 million has already come in to political action committees that support the Common Core standards and innovations such as charter schools and publicly funded vouchers.
It’s an astounding amount of money for a relatively obscure board. And the 
La. BESE Member Kira Orange Jones and NM Acting Chancellor Chris Ruszkowski Are Married. | deutsch29:

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