In Case You Missed It (ICYMI) … Your mini news clippings
Fewer students are being expelled from New Orleans public schools. RSD schools saw a 39% decrease in the first half of 2014-15 compared to the same time last year, and the citywide average is down 21%. Educate Now! agrees with the Times-Picayune that this news is encouraging. To download expulsion rates by school, click here.
Georgia’s governor, Nathan Deal, wants voters to create a state-run district to take over struggling schools. The idea is modeled after Louisiana’s RSD and is a drastic departure from Georgia’s current, more passive approach to failing schools.
An overhaul of No Child Left Behind cleared the U.S. House Education Committee along party lines. The committee approved major revisions, including how title funds would be allocated.
This is why Common Core matters. At all levels, including the top 10% of students, the United States trails other industrialized nations in the skills needed to compete in the global labor market.
Governor Jindal proposed a series of education reforms at a D.C. breakfast as part of his 2016 presidential preparations. Many were an extension of the New Orleans experience, including expanding charters, removing caps on the number of charter schools allowed, and giving principals a more active role in their schools’ direction.
p The state just released the 2014 ACT scores for public schools. Continuing our By the Numbers series, Educate Now! takes a look at high school performance.
New Orleans has seen strong gains since 2005.
The growth in ACT scores comes even as the percentage of seniors taking the test has increased significantly. (The state now requires students to take the ACT as part of high school accountability; in 2005, students were not required to take the ACT.) Since 2005, as the percentage of seniors taking the ACT increased, New Orleans improved its composite score1 from 17 to 18.4, while the state declined from 19.8 to 19.2. Both RSD and OPSB have seen gains in their ACT scores2.
- During this time (2005 to 2014), the RSD improved its ACT average by 2 points, more than any other district in the state. It is one of only 5 districts that improved more than 1 point during this time.
- OPSB improved by 0.8 points.
ACT Scores Over Time
||Class of 2005
||Class of 2014
Schools transferred to RSD
New Orleans (OPSB + RSD)
If comparing performance, RSD schools serve a very different population than OPSB, with more African American students, more poor students, and more students with special needs. Some OPSB high schools have selective admissions, and only three of seven OPSB high schools participate in EnrollNOLA (OneApp). RSD data includes the alternative high schools in the city, and every RSD high school is open-admissions and participates in EnrollNOLA.
ICYMI … Your mini news clippings
Henderson Lewis’ selection as superintendent marks a new chapter for the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB). Andre Perry solicits national and local opinions on what Mr. Lewis should do when he becomes OPSB’ s next superintendent. The Times-Picayune is hopeful his selection represents a fresh start. Most illuminating is Danielle Dreilinger’s profile of Mr. Lewis’ diverse background.
In this interview with the Reason Foundation, Superintendent Patrick Dobard discusses the history of the Recovery School District (RSD), how closing failing schools has been difficult but has helped students, and how the RSD, unlike traditional school districts, is able to innovate and respond quickly to changing needs.