Press Releases

Mayor Mitch Landrieu endorses Kira Orange Jones for BESE District 2

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Thursday October 15, 2015 – NEW ORLEANS – Mayor Mitch Landrieu has announced his support of Kira Orange Jones for the District 2 seat on the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

“I am voting for Kira Orange Jones because she works hard everyday to ensure every child has a chance to reach their God-given potential,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu.  “No child should be stuck in a failing school.  That’s why our goal is to have no failing schools in New Orleans by 2018.  As we work to improve all of our schools, we have a strong partner in Kira Orange Jones.”

A former classroom teacher who has supported thousands of teachers as an administrator, Kira Orange Jones is a strong advocate for teachers and students on BESE.  She was first elected to BESE in 2011.

“I would like to thank Mayor Landrieu for his support.  We both know how important education is in not just changing young lives, but in many cases saving them.” said Kira Orange Jones.  “While we have made significant improvements reducing drop outs, and improving ACT scores and graduation rates, there is still a lot of work to do.  I appreciate the Mayor’s support and his sincere efforts to help the children of our city.”

BESE District 2 includes the east and west banks of New Orleans, the west bank of Jefferson, and St. Charles, St. John, St. James and Assumption parishes. Early voting starts this Saturday the 10 and runs through the 17th. The primary election is Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015.

Kira Orange Jones has also been endorsed by the following organizations and individuals: U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, Congressman Cedric Richmond, Council President Jason Williams, State Senator J.P. Morrell, State Representative Helena Moreno, State Representative Walt Leger, Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul Connick, Jefferson Parish Councilman Mark Spears Jr., State Representative Randal Gaines, State Senator Troy Brown, St. John School Board Member Russell Jack, St. James School Board Member Tyler Jasmine, Times Picayune, Gambit, Alliance for Good Government, Stand For Children, Democrats for Education Reform (DFER), The NOEL Group, New Orleans Coalition, The Regular Democratic Organization, Crescent City Democratic Association, Forum For Equality, New Orleans Republican Executive Committee, Jefferson United, Inc., Citizens For Accountable Government, St. John Parish Political Action Organization, Treme Improvement Political Society (TIPS), APAC, BOLD and COUP.

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U.S. Congressman Cedric Richmond endorses Kira Orange Jones

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Friday, Oct. 9, 2015 – NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Congressman Cedric Richmond has announced his support of Kira Orange Jones for the District 2 seat on the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

“Kira Orange Jones has been consistent as our representative on the BESE board. She does what she believes is in the best interest of our children,” said U.S. Congressman Cedric Richmond. “As we work in DC to provide the funding to build new, state-of-the-art schools, we need partners that will ensure our kids have the opportunity to reach their dreams. We need Kira’s passion and commitment fighting on our behalf.”

A former classroom teacher who has supported thousands of teachers as an administrator, Orange-Jones is a strong advocate for teachers and students on BESE.  She was first elected to BESE in 2011.

“I am truly honored to have Congressman Richmond’s support. I know how hard he has worked in Washington to secure funding for schools and how strongly he feels about education. His recognition and support means a lot to me,” said Kira Orange Jones.

BESE District 2 includes the east and west banks of New Orleans, the west bank of Jefferson, and St. Charles, St. John, St. James and Assumption parishes. Early voting starts this Saturday the 10 and runs through the 17. The primary election is Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015.

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State Legislators Troy Brown and Randal Gaines announce support of Kira Orange Jones

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October 7, 2015—NEW ORLEANS—State Senator Troy Brown and State Representative Randal Gaines join a growing list of River Parish leaders who have announced their support for Kira Orange Jones for the District 2 seat on the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Jones’ other supporters include St. John Parish School Board Member Russell Jack, St. John Parish School Board Member Keith Joseph and St. James Parish School Board Member Tyler Jasmine.

“More students are graduating and earning TOPS, test scores are up—the positive results are an undeniable testament to Kira’s work for our schools,” said State Senator Troy Brown,

“Kira inspires those around her to continuously try harder to build the strongest education system possible. Her commitment and dedication are empowering, and we can’t afford to lose her talents on BESE,” said State Representative Randel Gaines.

After obtaining a master’s degree in education, Kira became a 4th grade teacher and then an educational leader who supports more than 1,000 teachers as an administrator. She was first elected to BESE in 2011.

BESE District 2 includes the east and west banks of New Orleans, the west bank of Jefferson, and St. Charles, St. John, St. James and Assumption parishes. Early voting starts this Saturday the 10 and runs through the 17th. The primary will be Oct. 24, 2015.

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Kira Orange Jones picks up four major endorsements

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October 5, 2015—NEW ORLEANS – Gambit, Alliance for Good Government, Democrats for Education Reform and Stand for Children have endorsed Kira Orange Jones for the District 2 seat on the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE).

“I am very honored to have been given the support of these organizations,” said Kira Orange Jones. “Four years ago I ran committed to providing each and every student with an excellent education. Our students and teachers have made real academic improvements since then, and it is nice to have that progress validated by being entrusted with the support of these organizations. We have made a lot of progress, but there is still more to do. We can’t rest until every child has access to an excellent education. That has been and will continue to be my life’s mission.”

After obtaining a master’s degree in education, Kira became a 4th grade teacher and then an educational leader who supports more than 1,000 teachers as an administrator. She was first elected to BESE in 2011.

BESE District 2 includes the east and west banks of New Orleans, the west bank of Jefferson, and St. Charles, St. John, St. James and Assumption parishes. The primary election is Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015.

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Kira Orange Jones picks up two major endorsements

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September 4, 2015—Former U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu and New Orleans City Councilmember-­At-­Large Jason Williams endorse Kira Orange Jones for District 2 seat on Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

“Kira Orange Jones is a great education leader for our region and state because she keeps her focus on what is best for each and every child,” said Former U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu. “As a former teacher and current non-­profit leader she brings an important perspective to BESE. Our schools are improving significantly because of her leadership.”

Kira has emphasized academic improvement for all children and her efforts on BESE have been particularly focused on improvements for African Americans. In New Orleans, historically one of the lowest performing districts, African American students have shown steady progress.

“Education is critical for the youth of our city, especially young black men.   Providing them with a great education will open new opportunities, changing their lives and our community,” said Councilmember-­At-­Large Jason Williams. “Kira has worked on BESE to get us moving in the right direction. In New Orleans the black male graduation rate is now above state and national averages and suspensions and expulsions are down, but there is a lot more to be done and we need Kira to continue fighting for us on BESE.”

First elected to BESE in 2011, Kira earned a Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in education from Harvard. She started with Teach for America as a 4th grade teacher in Baton Rouge and now serves as its Executive Director.

BESE District 2 includes the east and west banks of New Orleans, the West Bank of Jefferson, and St. Charles, St. John, St. James and Assumption parishes. The primary will be Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015.

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Kira Orange Jones to run for re-­election to Board of Secondary and Elementary Education (BESE)

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Tuesday September 1, 2015—Kira Orange-­Jones announced her candidacy for re-­election to the District 2 seat on Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

As someone who experienced first hand how education can change lives—having gone from an inner-­city school to a masters degree from Harvard and a career as an educator, to most recently being featured in Time Magazine—on BESE, Kira has focused on increasing achievement for all students.

“I know the challenges and heartbreaking statistics for students of color trying to compete on an educational playing field that is not level,” said Jones. “For our children and our society, we must provide an opportunity for an excellent education to every child. That has been and will continue to be my life’s mission.”

Jones pointed to Advanced Placement as a prime example. Louisiana led the nation in the percentage increase of students earning AP college credit, and the percent of the state’s African American students attaining qualifying high scores increased by 89%.

Other statewide achievements listed include improved graduation rates, more students eligible for TOPS scholarships and a decrease in the number of student suspensions and expulsions.

In New Orleans, historically one of the lowest performing districts, failing schools have dramatically decreased from 117 in 2004 to only 8 in 2014 and graduation rates have increased by 25% from 2008 to 2014, with the city’s black male graduation rate now exceeding both state and national averages.

As a former teacher and now a Teach For America executive director impacting thousands of teachers and former teachers, Jones is quick to give credit where she thinks it belongs as she said:

“On BESE we set educational policy. It is the dedicated teachers and principals that are in the schools and classrooms every day that implement these policies and deserve the thanks of everyone in this State. I see my job on BESE as supporting front line educators so our children can achieve their full potential.”

Kira earned a Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in education from Harvard. She started with Teach for America as a 4th grade teacher in Baton Rouge and now serves as its Executive Director.

BESE District 2 includes the east and west banks of New Orleans, the West Bank of Jefferson, and St. Charles, St. John, St. James and Assumption parishes. The primary will be Oct. 24, 2015.

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