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Purpose

The Greater New Orleans Compact for Learning and Economic Development is a partnership of the six public school systems in the Greater New Orleans region. The partnership includes the public school systems of Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, and St. Tammany.

The Compact is an outgrowth of the Higher Education/Business Symposium held at the New Orleans convention Center in 1987. The partnership is facilitated by the UNO Business/Higher Education Council. Region I Service Center of the Louisiana Department of Education also participates as a facilitating agent.

Jefferson Elementary School principal Carolyn Sanders-O'Hare was selected by the Compact Task Force for Elementary and Secondary Education to serve as the first Managing Partner, a position she continues to hold.

Educators and business leaders meet to plan and develop strategies and programs that provide additional resources for all school systems. Invitations are issued across the regional boundaries to attend technology, curriculum, and business partnership events. Information is shared which results in a synergistic effect benefiting all parishes. This highly effective networking system within the region operates with very little monetary involvement. Its growth and longevity are the result of the high level interest generated by the topics and resources.

Carolyn Sanders-O'Hare's role as the Managing Partner includes chairing the Partnership Executive Committee which meets quarterly at Longue Vue House and Gardens. Additional responsibilities include hosting the annual "Celebrate Education luncheon and awards presentation at the Plimsoll Club, World Trade Center, New Orleans. This annual awards luncheon honors outstanding educators from the six school systems and is sponsored by Compact business partners. The UNO Business/Higher Education Council acts as the fiscal agent for this event.

The Curriculum Committee is chaired by Anna Merle Merritt of St. Tammany Public Schools, and the Technology Committee is chaired by Tommy Morgan, Orleans Parish Public Schools. These committees meet bi-monthly at school system sites or places of special interest to educators throughout the region. Meetings generally have representation from all six school systems as well as outside Resource people.

The curriculum Committee works closely with the UNO Dean of Education and the Dean of Engineering. Region I Service Center members provide and receive valuable information from the educators. Information about educational programs and instructional technology is shared and often solves problems and saves time and money for entire school systems.

The Technology Committee works closely with Louisiana Public Broadcasting, IBM, Martin Marietta Space Systems [now Lockheed Martin], and other corporations investing in educational planning using technology. The French Consulate's representative provides international programs for educators. Telecommunications, computer networking, distance learning and instructional television are presenting new teaching methodologies and challenges for all educators.

Events in which the Compact has played a major role include NASA Space Day Open House at [Lockheed Martin], Teacher Training Institute with Louisiana Public Broadcasting and Texaco, UNO Engineering and Science Day, and Regional technology Fairs.

The Dean of Engineering, Dr. John Crisp, credits the compact with raising the number of students attending Engineering Day from 300 students two years ago to over 1,400 students attending this year.

This highly acclaimed partnership has been nominated for the President's National educational goal Award for Partnerships and is listed as one of the primary components of the MetroVision Educational Partnership.

The superintendents of these school systems have signed the compact Partnership Agreement. This agreement represents their commitment to share resources and information in order to strengthen education in the metropolitan area through this regional effort.

This partnership, often referred to as "Compact Six," has fostered a long term close working relationship among the school systems that will continue to reward the school systems for many years in the future.

We are proud of the generous sharing and commitment of the Compact members to work collectively to provide greater educational and economic opportunities to our region. We are working to prepare today's children for tomorrow's world of global communications driven by technology.

Ms. Carolyn Sanders-O'Hare
csanders@gnofn.org
Managing Partner
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