Charter School Access & Accountability panel

The panel on Charter School Access & Accountability will focus on the following question:

Are charter schools in New Orleans more or less responsive to democratic principles than our old School Boards, and how can we address the access and accountability issues for the present and future of New Orleans?

As 80% of our public schools are now Charter Schools, the business of covering charter schools has moved from weekly Parish-wide school board meetings to a variable number of meetings by a much larger number of Boards, which leaves the coverage up to more flexible news organizations like The Lens and Uptown Messenger.  Charter schools and these  reporters often tussle over the exceptions to open meetings laws, public records requests and other access issues.  Do parents have similar issues? What is the parent’s recourse if they are not happy with how their charter school is run?


Scott Sternberg is an attorney at the firm of Baldwin, Haspel, Burke & Mayer. Among many other clients he works for The Lens and Uptown Messenger, and represents clients before the Louisiana Board of Ethics and other governmental entities. Sternberg has worked with the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, among  other good government groups.  Sternberg is married to an educator and consequently holds some teacher-oriented views on education policy.


Steve Beatty is the editor of The Lens news website. He originated the Lens’ Charter School Reporting Corps, which covers boards that govern over 75 schools in Orleans Parish. This year the Corps won The New Orleans Press Club’s first place award for Community News.  Beatty has three children who attend charter schools.

Jaimme Collins is an attorney at Adams & Reese who regularly represents charter schools.
In 2013, Collins received the National Diversity Council's Glass Ceiling Award for her diversity efforts and leadership in the workplace. In 2011, she received "Women of the Year" honors from New Orleans CityBusiness. Collins is a member of the Board of Directors for the Children’s Bureau of New Orleans— an agency which is dedicated to offering free mental health services exclusively to children.

Marta Jewson is a freelance journalist who covers charter schools for The Lens and Uptown Messenger. From 2010 to 2012 she served as an AmeriCorps member with Project Homecoming while working as a freelance reporter. After interning at Gambit, Marta began reporting for The Lens’ Charter School Reporting Corps in the fall of 2011. She began reporting for Uptown Messenger in the fall of 2012, and Mid-City Messenger in January 2013.

Aesha Rasheed is a consultant and researcher who formerly reported on education for the Times Picayune. In 2007 Rasheed created the  “New Orleans Parents Guide,” an essential resource for information on public and charter schools in New Orleans. She also founded the New Orleans Parent Organizing Network, which supports parents in their effort to organize for quality public schools. This summer Rasheed was recognized with a Point of Light award for her work to improve education in the city.

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