New Orleans is Over 90% Charter

Educate Now! has reviewed the most recent enrollment data from the state. As of October 1:

  • 91% of New Orleans students are in charter schools.
  • Enrollment keeps increasing by around 1,500 students per year.
  • New Orleans schools have grown more diverse since Katrina.

New Orleans Enrollment Over Time

October 1

(all students)*
2004-05 2009-10 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14
TOTAL 66372 38051 42030 43540 44950
Charter 1.5% 61.4% 77.5% 83.9% 91.0%
Direct-Run 98.5% 38.6% 22.5% 16.1% 9.0%
White 3.6% 5.4% 7.9% 6.7% 6.9%
Black 93.2% 90.0% 86.3% 87.3% 86.1%
Other 3.2% 4.6% 5.8% 5.9% 7.0%

*2013-14 does not include 0-3 enrollment or NOCCA (which dropped below 50% N.O. enrollment) but does include Milestone SABIS (with over 50% N.O. enrollment).

According to a recent market share report, New Orleans has the nation’s highest percentage of public school students in charters. In 2012-13, Detroit was second with 51% percent in charters, and Washington, D.C. was third with 43%.

Also, when the Recovery School District closes its last four direct-run schools at the end of this school year, it will become the nation’s first all-charter district.

UPDATE: This post has been updated to reflect corrected state data that increased charter enrollment from 90.2% to to 91%.

Positive Results from New Expulsion Policies

The Recovery School District (RSD) and the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) announced the results of the first year of the new expulsion policy for public schools in Orleans Parish.

  • There were 272 expulsions in the 2012-13 school year, for an expulsion rate of .57%
  • In comparison, the state had an expulsion rate of .7%
  • New Orleans’ expulsion rate is 20% below the state

Not only is New Orleans leading the state in academic gains, we are doing so while expelling fewer students than the state average.

What did New Orleans do differently in the 2012-13 school year?

  • Common expulsion process and definition: Charter and traditional school leaders across the RSD, OPSB, and Type 2 charter schools worked together to establish a joint policy and coordinate a centralized process for student expulsions.

The 2012-13 school year was the inaugural year, with 90 of the 91 public schools in New Orleans participating. These schools agreed that all expulsion hearings would be administered by the RSD’s Student Hearing Office and agreed to limit the reasons a student could be expelled. Continue reading

Good News About Cheating

The Lens recently reported on the number of test administration mistakes and instances of cheating found by the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) from 2010 to 2012 for public schools in New Orleans. This information was provided to The Lens by the LDOE.

Educate Now! is very encouraged by the results.

The fact that only 130 tests out of hundreds of thousands given in New Orleans over three years were voided – due to student cheating, adult cheating, or administrative errors – is very good news.
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2013 EOC Results – High School Gains Continue

The state has released the End-of-Course (EOC) exam results for 2012-2013.

The percent of students proficient (scoring Excellent or Good) increased – and at a faster rate than the state. 

From 2011-12 to 2012-13, looking at all tests combined:

  • RSD-New Orleans and OPSB each gained 7 percentage points.
  • The state gained 4 points.

Percent of Students Proficient
(Scoring Excellent or Good)

District 2011-2012  2012-2013  Gain
RSD-New Orleans 31% 38% 7
OPSB 61% 68% 7
Louisiana 55% 59% 4

View a comparison of gains by district.

Continue reading

Special Education – OPSB Not Serving Its Share

Schools under the OPSB serve a disproportionately low number of students with disabilities. The city average is 9.9% special education students, but OPSB schools (charter and traditional combined) serve 6.6%. OPSB charters serve only 5.49% while RSD charters serve 11.1%.

Even OPSB’s open-admission charter schools are significantly under-serving special education students.

OPSB receives a lump sum based on the total number of students with disabilities in the city. It then distributes the money among its schools as if each individual school had the average 9.9% special education enrollment. That means some OPSB schools are getting much more than their fair share of special education dollars, while other schools aren’t getting enough.

Read more in this article in the Times-Picayune:

Special education enrollment numbers show Orleans Parish School Board charters lagging

View the list of schools and special education enrollment:

What Does N.O. Think About Education Reforms

There has been much discussion about how folks really view education reforms in New Orleans. Last week, Tulane’s Cowen Institute released a 2013 public opinion poll providing data that replaces pure speculation with poll results on how voters feel about key issues.

Key Findings

Voters agreed more than they disagreed, reflecting consensus on some key points:

  • Support for school choice for families, with only 21% wanting a return to neighborhood schools;
  • Replacing operators of low-performing schools with charter operators who have demonstrated success (65%);
  • The need for the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) to make structural and operational changes before schools are returned (65%), with a strong preference (41%) for a local school board with a mix of elected and appointed members; only 16% of voters believe OPSB as currently structured should have oversight of all charter schools.
  • While black and white voters disagreed on when to return schools, the majority (55%) feel return should be in the more distant future (3-5 years) or never.

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Game Changer! N.O. High School Grad Rate Outperforms US

With the recent release by the U.S. Department of Education of national high school completion rates, New Orleans has cause to celebrate.  In terms of graduating students on time, we have closed the performance gap.

New Orleans outperformed the state and outperformed the nation. 

States are now required to use a common measurement for high school completion:  the percent of first time 9th graders who graduate within 4 years with a regular diploma (the 4-year cohort graduation rate1). The data on the graduating class of 2011 shows that nationally 76% of white students and 60% of black students graduated on time.

In New Orleans, 76.5% of our students graduated on time2

  • Outperforming the national average for white students
  • Outperforming the national average for black students by 16.5 percentage points
  • Outperforming the state of Louisiana (70.9%)
  • Outperforming Jefferson Parish (67%), Baton Rouge (62.3%) and Shreveport (61.5%)

New Orleans had 2,051 high school graduates in 2011, 443 more than if we were at the national average for black students, and 657 more than if we were still at New Orleans’ 2005 graduation rate.

This improvement is a game changer for our students and our city. 

Continue reading

Enrollment Data Released; 84% now attending Charter Schools

The state has released enrollment data for New Orleans public schools, which includes all OPSB schools, RSD New Orleans schools and the city’s Type 2 charter schools. As of October 1, 2012:

  • 84% of New Orleans public school students attend charter schools, up from 78% last year and 71% in 2010. New Orleans has a greater percentage of students in charter schools than anywhere else in the country. Detroit and the District of Columbia come in a distant second with just over 40% in charters. The national average is 4%.
  • Enrollment increased for the 6th consecutive year to 43,540 students, up 1,510 students from last year and a 70% increase from 2006, the first full year after Katrina. Additionally, another 2,440 New Orleans students are receiving publicly funded vouchers to attend private or parochial schools. This increase in enrollment likely means the city’s population continues to grow. Continue reading

2012 School Performance Scores Released

Major improvement in New Orleans’ Ranking
#1 in growth since 2005

  • Since 2005, the District Performance Score (DPS) for New Orleans has grown an astonishing 36.8 points, more than any other district in the state.
  • For the first time, New Orleans has a higher DPS than both East Baton Rouge and Caddo (Shreveport) Parishes.
  • New Orleans has closed the gap with the state average by 70%. In 2005, New Orleans was over 30 points behind the state. In 2012, New Orleans is only 9.1 points behind the state.

District Performance Scores for the
Four Largest Districts in Louisiana

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End of Course Test Results Are In

Earlier this month, the state released the results of the End of Course tests (EOCs).

Background Info on End of Course Tests

Louisiana has phased out the Graduation Exit Exam (GEE) and replaced it with EOCs.

  • The graduating class of 2014 must pass at least three EOCs to graduate: English II or English III, Algebra I or Geometry, and Biology or American History. *
  • EOCs count for at least 15% of a student’s grade in the course.
  • School Performance Scores will now be calculated using EOC results instead of the GEE.

Results by School

Some schools outperformed the state average in the percent of students considered proficient (scoring Excellent or Good). Ben Franklin and Lusher – both selective admission schools – outperformed the state in all 4 subjects – Algebra I, English II, Geometry and Biology. Warren Easton and Sci Academy out performed in 3 of the 4 subjects. Continue reading