Pre-Katrina, high schools in New Orleans were sharply divided between high performing, selective admissions schools and low performing (many the lowest in the state) open admissions high schools.
In 2005, 67% of high schoolers (grades 9-12) attended a failing school.
While a failing school has a School Performance Score (SPS) of less than 60, the majority of New Orleans’ failing high schools were the worst schools in the state, with scores below 30.
Post-Katrina to Today
The high schools governed by the Orleans Parish School Board were the first to reopen after the storm. Some of their highly selective schools reduced or eliminated their admissions criteria to help get students back in school and to bring their student enrollment closer to pre-Katrina levels. This change in student make-up contributed to a drop in their SPS scores.
As a result, today we have fewer 3, 4, and 5 star schools and more 1 and 2 star schools.
The good news: Significantly fewer students are attending failing schools.
Using either the 2009 SPS scores or the spring 2010 test
scores, Educate Now! estimates that in 2010 only 36% of students in grades 9-12 attended failing schools. This is marked improvement!
View 2005 high schools with student population and performance rankings.
View 2010 high schools with student population and performance rankings.
In addition to the schools that were one star or higher in 2009, Educate Now! calculated three additional high schools should have a 2010 Growth Performance Score* of 60 or higher:
O. Perry Walker, Algiers Technical Academy and Thurgood Marshall Early College High School. Congrats to all three!
Unfortunately, while the percent of students attending a failing high school has dropped, so has the percent of students attending a high performing high school – from 21% in 2005 to 10% in 2010.
We can and should be able to have non selective high schools that are high performing. Educate Now! wants to shine the spotlight on Sci Academy. Their 10th grade GEE scores were excellent -the third highest in the city behind Ben Franklin and Lusher. Sci Academy proves that open admission high schools can excel; our challenge is for more of them to do so.
* Growth performance scores use only the most recent year of data. A school performance score averages two years of data.