FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Orleans, La – Today, Democrats For Education Reform (DFER) announced its Reformers of the Month for August. Each month, DFER recognizes elected officials and candidates for elected office that exemplify the organization’s principles of reform. This month, in conjunction with the newly formed Louisiana chapter, DFER is proud to recognize six Louisiana leaders in education who are proven champions of education reform. As the nation honors the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, these leaders are uniquely positioned to continue the progress that has been made in Louisiana so far.
In August, DFER recognizes the following as Reformers of the Month:
- Jada Lewis
- Jason Hughes
- State Senator JP Morrell
- BESE District 2 Member Kira Orange Jones
- State Representative, District 98 Neil Abramson
- State Representative, District 91 and Speaker Pro Tempore Walt Leger
“As DFER’s founding state director for the Louisiana chapter, I’m thrilled to have DFER’s full national support behind these candidates. As we approach the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, it is critical that we continue to support the leaders and policies that have helped our students make such incredible strides over the past decade,” said Eva Kemp-Melder, DFER Louisiana state director. “There’s still much we can do to improve education for Louisiana’s students, but if we want the next ten years to be as impactful as the last ten, we have to support great leaders like these Reformers.”
Since Katrina, there have been incredible gains in student learning and achievement in New Orleans in particular, including:
- Fewer students attending a failing school – dropped from 63% in 2004 to 6% in 2014;
- More students graduating from high school – up to 73% in 2014 from 54 % in 2004;
- And more students going to college – up to 59% in 2015 from 37% in 2004.
“DFER is committed to ensuring that every child, no matter their zip code, has a fair shot at a quality education. Reformer of the Month allows us to lift up and support visionary reform-oriented leaders across the country who are working on behalf of our students and the education they deserve,” said Lea Crusey, acting Executive Director of Democrats for Education Reform. “We’re proud to support this accomplished slate of Reformers in Louisiana, who have dedicated themselves to upending a broken status quo in the wake of great tragedy and in the face of incredible adversity. I hope you will join me in supporting their continued efforts across the Bayou state.”
Click here to see profiles for the August Reformers of the Month.
The Reformer of the Month is chosen by DFER to highlight the ongoing and successful efforts of Democrats around the country that are working to ensure that every child gets a high-quality education. Reformers of the Month have a proven track record of supporting policies that will improve the schools in their community. They have a commitment to finding ways to improve public schools and help teachers and students in their community by investing in programs and methods that work and change ones that don’t, so that all children have a fair shot at a quality education.
CONTACT: Eva Kemp, DFER-LA State Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
Newest DFER state chapter highlights successful reforms since Katrina and commitment to building on that progress
Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) announced today that the newly-formed Louisiana state chapter of DFER has been named the Reformer of the Month for their commitment to working with local school districts and policymakers to ensure that every student in Louisiana has access to a high-quality education.
DFER recently announced that Eva Kemp-Melder has been hired to serve as the DFER-Louisiana State Director. Kemp-Melder previously worked for US Senator Mary Landrieu as a policy advisor, working on education policies including high-quality charter school development, early childhood expansion, and higher education affordability.
“Louisiana schoolchildren were deeply impacted by the dislocation and disruption caused by Katrina. In the almost ten years that have followed, the education community has come together to improve the school system throughout the state of Louisiana with widespread and tangible results,” said Lea Crusey, acting Executive Director of DFER. “We couldn’t be happier to highlight the work that Eva and the Louisiana team are doing to keep that progress going, and to continue to expand the educational opportunities for students in their state.”
“We have seen graduation rates rise and more children have access to high-quality education. Working together, our community has made progress that seemed impossible to most in the weeks following Katrina,” said Eva Kemp-Melder. “Our team is eager to continue that work to make sure that every Louisiana student has the educational opportunities they deserve.”
The Reformer of the Month is chosen by DFER to highlight the ongoing and successful efforts of Democrats around the country that are working to ensure that every child gets a high-quality education. Reformers of the month have a proven track record of supporting policies that will improve the schools in their community. They have a commitment to finding ways to improve public schools and help teachers and students in their community by investing in programs and methods that work and change ones that don’t, so that all children have a fair shot at a quality education.
Contact: Jessica Floyd, email@example.com