2011 Scores are In — New Orleans is #1 in Growth!

Since 2005, New Orleans has improved more than
any other school district in Louisiana.

District Performance Highlights

Educate Now! calculates that the combined DPS for New Orleans should be around 82.4. This means that New Orleans has grown a stunning 25.5 points – 49% – between 2005 and 2011!

#1 in Growth Since 2005
District Performance Score = All students, all grades, all tests

The 2011 combined DPS for New Orleans was calculated by Educate Now!

To put this growth in perspective, it is roughly the equivalent of an average increase of 2 ACT points for New Orleans students – huge growth!

During this same time, the state grew 6.5 points or 7.4 %.

Our estimated DPS places New Orleans in 1st place for growth since 2005. The #2 spot goes to Red River Parish with a DPS increase of 24.6 points. Even if Educate Now! is off by a few tenths of a percent, New Orleans remains #1 in growth!

The district performance score is the most comprehensive measurement of performance. It includes all students, all tests, all performance levels, as well as dropout and attendance data. Educate Now! calls on the Department of Education to release the official 2011 combined score as soon as possible.

Both RSD and OPSB are Showing Strong Improvement

  • RSD’s DPS score went from 41.8 in 2007, to 60.6 in 2010, to 69.2 in 2011.
  • OPSB’s 2011 score of 118 is the second highest DPS in Louisiana.
  • RSD ranks #1 for growth between 2007 and 2011; OPSB ranks #4.

School Performance Highlights

The number of schools performing below 65 (F) continues to fall.

  • In 2005, 110 schools received an SPS – 78 were below 65.
  • In 2010, 68 schools received an SPS – 24 were below 65.
  • In 2011, 75 schools received an SPS – 21 are below 65.

The number of schools with an SPS of 90 or higher (A, B or C) continues to increase.

  • In 2005, 14 out of 110 schools had an SPS of 90 or higher.
  • In 2010, 15 out of 68 schools had an SPS of 90 or higher
  • In 2011, 25 out of 75 schools had an SPS of 90 or higher.

Almost every school is improving.

  • Of the 57 schools that received a SPS in 2009 and 2011
    • 23% grew by at least 20 points!
    • 56% grew by at least 10 points
    • 95% showed some improvement

Download a complete List of School Performance Scores for New Orleans (xls), sorted by district, with letter the grades assigned to each school.

New Grading System for Schools

In 2010, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) approved a new grading system for schools. Instead of a 1 to 5 star rating, schools now earn letter grades based on their annual School Performance Scores (SPS).

Under the new system, a top-performing school with an SPS of 120 or above earns an “A.” The bar for failing schools moved from below 60 to below 65. Any school with an SPS below 65 received an “F.”

Letter grades are assigned as follows:

Letter Grade SPS Range
A 120.0 – 200.0
B 105.0 – 119.9
C 90.0 – 104.9
D 65.0 – 89.9
F 0 – 64.9

Schools that meet their growth target earn a plus (+) sign after their letter grade. If a school declines from 2010 to 2011, the letter grade is followed by a minus (-) sign.

To compare school performance over time, Educate Now! converted the SPS for New Orleans schools in 2005 and 2010 to letter grades based upon the 2011 grading scale.

Comparing Total Performance (includes RSD, OPSB and Type 2 charters)

% of New Orleans Schools
at Each Grade Level

Letter Grade 2005 2010 2011
A 4% 7% 7%
B 5% 7% 17%
C 4% 7% 9%
D 16% 43% 39%
F 71% 35% 28%

High Schools

Most of the high schools that opened in 2006 saw very big jumps in their SPS, due in part to a new element that’s been added to their SPS calculation: the Graduation Index.

The Graduation Index assigns points to a school based upon how well the high school did in graduating their students and how well prepared these students are for post-secondary education. For more information, see Understanding the New Graduation Index.

The following high schools were open in 2006-07, and their 2011 scores now include a Graduation Index.

High Schools Open
in SY 2006-07
2010 Baseline SPS 2011 Baseline SPS Change 2010-2011 2011 Grade
Benjamin Franklin High School 169.8 186.2 16.4 A+
Warren Easton Senior High School 92.6 120.2 27.6 A+
Lusher Charter School 146.2 155.4 9.2 A+
Edna Karr Secondary School 87.6 115 27.4 B+
Eleanor McMain Secondary School 88.9 108 19.1 B+
New Orleans Charter Science & Math HS 81.0 106.4 25.4 B+
McDonogh #35 Senior High School 83.9 103.2 19.3 C+
O.P. Walker Senior High School 68.4 95.5 27.1 C+
John McDonogh Senior High School 32.2 41.8 9.6 F
Sarah Towles Reed Senior High School 34.9 33.7 -1.2 F-

Shout Out to Our High Performing Schools:  A’s and B’s

Educate Now! congratulates these high performing schools that received a school grade of either an A or a B.

High Performing Schools 2011 Baseline SPS 2011 Letter Grade
Benjamin Franklin High School 186.2 A+
Lusher Charter School 155.4 A+
Lake Forest Elementary Charter School 147.8 A
Audubon Charter School 120.4 A
Warren Easton Senior High School 120.2 A+
Mary Bethune Elem. Literature/Technology 118.7 B-
Edward Hynes Charter School 117.2 B
Edna Karr Secondary School 115 B+
Robert Russa Moton Charter School 111.6 B
KIPP Believe College Prep (Phillips) 111.6 B
Benjamin Franklin Elem. Math and Science 111.5 B
International School of Louisiana 110.8 B
Eleanor McMain Secondary School 108 B+
Martin Behrman Elementary School 107.5 B
KIPP Central City Academy 107.5 B+
Akili Academy of New Orleans 106.6 B
New Orleans Charter Science & Math HS 106.4 B
KIPP Central City Primary 105.6 B-

Our Challenge:  Sustaining the Momentum

Our challenge for the future will be to continue to improve our school performance – and to improve faster than the rest of the state. While we celebrate growth – and we should – at the end of the day, what students and their families care about is are students getting the education they need to be college and career ready? Right now, the answer for too many is still “no.” We are doing a much better job, but we have a long distance to travel. We have had 5 years of sustained, compounded growth. Here’s to hoping for a 6peat this school year.


Congrats to the principals, teachers, charter board members, school support staff and others who work every day to improve their schools and the educational opportunities for our children. As a city, y’all did a great job in 2010-11! Thank you.


View the Department of Education’s press release.

Download a complete List of School Performance Scores for New Orleans (xls), sorted by district, with letter the grades assigned to each school.