High School Performance – A WOW Moment!

New Orleans high schools are (finally) showing great improvement.

The state released Letter Grades and School Performance Scores (SPS) for most high schools1, and there is cause for celebration!

Highlights

  • More than half of New Orleans high schools earned a letter grade of A or B. Five years ago, only two high schools had an A or B letter grades and both were selective admission schools (Ben Franklin and Lusher).
  • New Orleans schools outperform other high-poverty high schools in Louisiana. Among schools statewide serving student populations where three-quarters or more of students are economically disadvantaged, New Orleans has the top 5 performing schools.
School
2015 Grade
SPS
Edna Karr A 111.1
Warren Easton A 109.2
Sci High B 98.6
KIPP Renaissance B 96.8
Sci Academy B 96.3
  • Four high schools were among the top 10 most improved in the state: KIPP Renaissance, Clark Prep, New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy, and Sci Academy.
  • Eight high schools improved enough to change their letter grade.

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ICYMI: BESE Election Results

In Case You Missed It (ICYMI) … Your mini news clippings

Election Results

Backers of strong accountability and standards won a majority of seats in Saturday’s BESE elections. The New Orleans area solidly supported incumbents Kira Orange Jones in the 1st District and James Garvey in the 2nd. Saturday’s losers included incumbents Lottie Beebe and Carolyn Hill, vocal critics of Common Core and state Superintendent John White. Two other seats will be determined in a runoff election on November 21, and the remaining three seats will be appointed by Louisiana’s next governor. Who the governor appoints, along with the outcome of two runoffs, will determine how united or divided BESE will be going forward.

The race for OPSB’s 1st District will be decided in a runoff election on November 21 between John Brown Sr. and Keith Barney. This is a special election to replace Ira Thomas, who resigned in March after being charged with corruption.
 
Eyeing New Orleans as a Model
 
The Hechinger Report examines some of the challenges and successes of turnaround districts, including Louisiana’s RSD.
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PARCC Results: A New Baseline

The state has released the 2014-15 PARCC test results for English and math, grades 3-8.

How did New Orleans do?

  • 60% of students scored Proficient (Basic or above); the state was 65%.
  • 28% of students scored Mastery or above; the state was 33%.

Compared to other districts?

  • New Orleans is ranked 45th out of 69 districts for percent Mastery or above.
  • We outperformed 21 districts, and tied with three others.
  • We held steady. Last year we ranked 46th; this year we ranked 45th.

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Grant Opportunity for Open Enrollment Orleans Parish Public High Schools

YouthForce NOLA Career Readiness Initiative

Proposals due November 4, 2015

The YouthForce NOLA Steering Committee seeks proposals from schools interested in exploring, piloting and planning, or implementing high-quality career and technical education school models. Grants will help build the capacity of schools to offer the necessary coursework and experiences so students may develop the knowledge and skills to pursue high-wage, high-demand career pathways.

Funding

YouthForce NOLA will support New Orleans open-enrollment, public high schools looking to refine and expand their school models around CTE. Schools will be eligible for the following grants: 

  • Exploration: up to $10,000, plus technical assistance
  • Pilot + Plan: up to $40,000, plus technical assistance
  • Implementation: up to $300,000 over three years, plus technical assistance
Multiple grant rounds are anticipated over the next three to five years. A limited amount of funding is available for this first round; applicants not selected will be invited to re-apply in future rounds.

Download the YouthForce NOLA Schools RFP. All open enrollment New Orleans public high schools are eligible to apply.

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ICYMI: Top Stories

In Case You Missed It (ICYMI) … Your mini news clippings

Top Stories

OPSB Superintendent Henderson Lewis surprised many with the honesty of his remarks during a presentation on his first six months on the job. Dr. Lewis said we have to “be real” and see New Orleans schools for where they really are. He called it misleading to say OPSB is an “A” district when, if you take just the direct-run (network) schools, OPSB would have a score of 77.7 and would rank 54th in the state. He also said if we expect schools to return to local control, we have to start viewing New Orleans schools as one system. “The most important score this morning is 83.4,” he said, “because that score represents every single school in New Orleans.” View Dr. Lewis’ presentation on his first 180 days.
 
A coalition of eighty colleges and universities, including all of the Ivy League, is trying to change the college admissions process. They are abandoning the Common Application, and they want students to focus on their portfolio of work beginning in 9th grade. Continue reading