New Orleans by the Numbers: Public School Enrollment

Wednesday, January 28, 2015, 9:55 pm

Educate Now! looks at the public school student enrollment over the past ten years – from October 1, 2004 (the last data before Katrina) to this school year.

The Highlights

Schools are serving a more ethnically diverse student population.

Enrollment Citywide

A higher percentage of students are economically disadvantaged*.


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OPSB Selects Superintendent

Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 12:04 am

ICYMI … Your mini news clippings

  • In this letter to the editor, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Juvenile Court Chief Judge Gray and others applaud the One-App’s centralized enrollment process and congratulate the RSD for its efforts to hold schools accountable for serving all students.

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In case you missed it …

Monday, January 12, 2015, 7:32 pm

ICYMI … Your mini news clippings

  • For an insightful view of the charter school debate, read this Forbes commentary. The author, an economist, cites strong evidence from numerous studies that charters are better at educating poor students and black students than regular public schools. They are not as good for non-urban schools and white students. His main point: if any other public policy showed these types of results, it would be embraced much more readily.

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In case you missed it …

Sunday, January 4, 2015, 8:56 pm

ICYMI … Your mini news clippings

  • Thrillist website named metro New Orleans the #1 food city in America, and travel publication Rough Guides named New Orleans the #3 destination in the world, beginning with a Bob Dylan quote, “There are a lot of places I like, but I like New Orleans better.” Educate Now! agrees.
  • The state is recommending BESE not renew Wilson’s charter. Wilson’s board is fighting back, arguing they would have received a “D” if the state had not changed the way it calculates School Performance Scores midway through the year.

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Charter Schools Help Improve Special Education in New Orleans

Sunday, December 28, 2014, 7:32 pm

This guest editorial appeared in the Times-Picayune, and I wanted to share it with you.

Charter Schools Help Improve Special Education in New Orleans: Leslie Jacobs

In fourth grade, James, a special needs student at John Dibert Charter School, was struggling academically and behaviorally. He was making daily trips to the dean’s office for disruptive behavior and emotional outbursts. James is now on honor roll in eighth grade, scored mastery and advanced on state tests and is applying to Ben Franklin High School.

Zaria transferred to Arthur Ashe Charter School at the beginning of second grade as a special education student, reading at kindergarten level. By the end of fourth grade she scored mastery in English.

Zaria and James are two of the many students who have benefited from the city’s improvement in serving students with special needs.

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In case you missed it …

Sunday, December 14, 2014, 7:41 pm

ICYMI … Your mini news clippings

In case you missed it …

Thursday, December 4, 2014, 7:36 pm

In the news (or mini news clippings..ICYMI)

And … 

Don’t forget to vote YES this Saturday, December 6! 

Help pass the school facility millage to keep New Orleans public school buildings from falling into disrepair. 
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Schools Need Your Help

Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 6:54 pm

Times-Picayune and Gambit have both come out in support of the school facility millage on December 6th.

  • Before the flood, many schools in New Orleans were old and in deplorable shape because of years of deferred maintenance. There was no dedicated stream of revenue for repairs. It would be a terrible waste to allow that to happen again with the schools being built or refurbished post-Katrina.
  • This proposition will NOT increase your taxes: The 4.97 mill tax currently received by schools to pay construction bond debt would be redirected gradually (when not needed to pay the bonds) and dedicated to facility preservation. Your taxes will not increase.

Help pass the millage – What YOU can do:

  • VOTE on December 6th! Turnout looks to be low, so every vote is important.
  • Share this information with your friends.
  • Put up a yard sign. Email me at, and I will get you one.

Read More »

News Alert: Supreme Court Dismisses Fired Teacher Lawsuit

Saturday, November 1, 2014, 10:49 am

The Louisiana Supreme Court has dismissed the lawsuit by OPSB teachers and staff who said they were illegally terminated after Hurricane Katrina.

Read more in this Times-Picayune article.

And for those who are interested, the ruling contains a very good summary of the events post Katrina.


2014 School Scores Released

Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 7:34 pm

School Performance Scores Released
2013-14 a stand still year

New Orleans hit the pause button this year. After 7 years of robust growth in school performance, 2013-14 remained flat.

 Variability in School Scores

While overall city performance was unchanged, individual school scores varied a great deal from 2013 to 2014. Of the 63 schools that received a letter grade in 2013 and 2014, almost half had a letter grade change: 11 moved up and 19 went down.

  • K-8 scores were impacted by a decrease in progress (bonus) points. Schools earn progress points by improving the performance of non-proficient students more than expected. This year the state changed the rules and made it more difficult to earn progress points1, so only five K-8 schools received the maximum of 10 points, whereas twenty-three received the maximum last year.
  • 2014 K-8 scores also reflect the migration to Common Core standards. In the spring of 2014, students took LEAP and iLEAP tests that were Common Core aligned. (Students will transition to the new PARCC tests in 2015, unless this is changed by the current litigation.) While the state “curved” the letter grades so the distribution remained the same statewide2, the test results in the spring clearly showed some schools adapted to the new standards better than others.
  • Finally, beginning in 2013, the state increased the inherent volatility of school scores and letter grades by using only one year of data to calculate letter grades instead of averaging two years of data.

School Performance Scores 

Despite the variability in individual school grades, the overall grade distribution is about the same as last year.

  • Two-thirds of students attended a school with a letter grade of A, B or C.
  • 5% attended a school with a letter grade of F.

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