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Friday, September 30, 2016
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Panelist Bio


Alison Neustrom, Ph.D.
Research Director, Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana (PAR)

Alison Neustrom, Ph.D. is the Research Director for the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana (PAR). PAR is a private nonprofit research organization offering solutions to critical public issues in Louisiana through accurate, objective research and focusing public attention on those solutions. Dr. Neustrom joined PAR after serving as the Vice-President for Public Policy at the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations where she was responsible for monitoring legislation and informing public policy for the benefit of Louisiana’s nonprofit sector and the people it serves. Prior to that, she served as Assistant Secretary of the Office of Family Support at the Department of Social Services, which administers the SNAP program, TANF, Child Support Enforcement, Child Care, Child Care Licensing and Disability Determinations.

Dr. Neustrom served four years as Director of Policy and Planning at the Department of Social Services, during which she led state and federal public policy development while administering hurricane recovery projects. She also worked as a Research Associate at the Administrative Offices of the Courts at the California Judicial Council in the Center for Families, Children and the Courts.

Dr. Neustrom holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and a master’s in Social Work and Ph.D. in Sociology from Louisiana State University. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkley School of Social Welfare.

Current Topic


09/16 - Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System

How well is the state’s public school system really performing?

One national survey ranks Louisiana as 49th for academic achievement of public school students. Another national report ranks the state dead last. So, how well is the state’s public school system really performing? Where is there room for improvement? What will the new federal “Every Student Succeeds Act” mean for education in Louisiana? And how have the historic summer floods changed things? Louisiana Public Square explores these issues and more on “Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System” Wednesday, September 28 at 7 p.m. on LPB HD and in New Orleans on WLAE.

The panelists are
• Superintendent Michael Faulk, Central Community School System
• James D. Garvey, Jr. , BESE Board President
• Scott Richard, Executive Director, Louisiana School Boards Association
• Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith, D- Baton Rouge; House Education Committee

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and LSU Manship School of Mass Communication professor Robert Mann host the show. The program features interviews with Louisiana Education State Superintendent John White; Debbie Meaux, President of the Louisiana Association of Educators; Brigitte Nieland with the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry and Caddo Parish School Superintendent Dr. Theodis Lamar Goree.

“Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System” can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

Learn More!

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Special Presentation


05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


10/16 - Election 2016

What concerns are on citizens’ minds as they go to the polls this fall?

Recent Topics


08/16 - Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference (encore)

What difference has a decade made?


07/16 - Regular and Extraordinary: Legislative Review

Who are the winners and losers in Louisiana’s budget battle?


06/16 - Symbol or Statement? History in Public Spaces (encore)

Is the display of Civil War statues in public justified or do they belong only in museums?


05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

»»» View all Topics!
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