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

Both RSD and OPSB Are Showing Strong Improvement

  • RSD’s DPS score went from 41.8 in 2007, to 69.2 in 2011 and 76.7 in 2012.
  • OPSB’s 2012 score of 133.8 is the second highest DPS in Louisiana.

Download 2012 District Performance Scores (xlsx) for all Louisiana school districts.

The Fine Print

  • The District Performance Score is the most comprehensive measurement of school and student performance. It includes all students, all tests, and all grade levels, as well as dropout and attendance data. The DPS for New Orleans includes all RSD and OPSB schools, both charter and direct-run.
  • Caveat on Growth: The state grew almost 10 points. In a year when K-8 had small growth, this large gain is coming from high schools, and Educate Now! suspects high school performance is overstated. This year, the state moved from using the Graduation Exit Exam to End of Course Tests to calculate School Performance Scores. This, combined with the Graduation Index, has led to grade inflation. Don’t be surprised next year, when the new accountability indicators and weights are used, if high school grades drop statewide.
  • What does this mean for New Orleans? While the 2012 District Performance Scores likely overstate performance statewide, New Orleans’ improvement relative to other school districts is still an excellent measurement of our gains over time.
    • 2005 – New Orleans was ranked 2nd to last – 67th out of 68 school districts.
    • 2010 – New Orleans was ranked 65th out 69 districts. *
    • 2011 – New Orleans was ranked 60th out of 69 districts.
    • 2012 – New Orleans is ranked 51st out of 69 districts.

We still have a long way to go, but our steady progress is undeniable and very encouraging!

*Central Community Schools became its own school district in 2009.

How Did New Orleans Schools Perform?

The number and percentage of schools with a School Performance Score (SPS) below 75 (failing) continues to fall.

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

Comparing Performance Over Time
2005 to 2012
# and % of Schools at Each Grade Level
Grade  2005 2011 2012
# % # % # %
A 4 4% 5 7% 7 9%
B 6 5% 13 17% 11 14%
C 4 4% 7 9% 9 11%
D 7 6% 11 15% 20 25%
F 99 83% 39 52% 32 40% 

Educate Now! converted the SPS for 2005 and 2011 to letter grades based upon the 2012 grading scale* for all OPSB, RSD and Type 2 charter schools.

The percent of failing schools (SPS 75 and below) went from 83% in 2005, to 52% in 2011, to 40% in 2012. We’ve reduced it by more than half.

The percent of A, B, and C schools (SPS 90 and above) went from 12% in 2005, to 33% in 2011, to 34% in 2012.

The state calculates the SPS using combination of test scores, attendance and drop out rates, and graduation rates. Read more about the SPS

View the list of School Performance Scores for New Orleans (xls) sorted by district, with the letter grades assigned to each school. 

School Improvement

Individual school improvement was mixed in 2012. Of the 67 schools that had 2011 and 2012 SPS scores to compare:

  • 19 (28%) had at least 10 points in growth
  • 15 (22%) had at least 5 points in growth
  • 47 (70%) showed some improvement
  • 20 (30%) showed no improvement or declined

Educate Now! congratulates these schools that improved by at least 10 points.

Elementary and Middle Schools Growth*
Paul B. Habans Elementary School 27.5
Gentilly Terrace Elementary School 26.5
John Dibert Community School 23.9
Success Preparatory Academy 18.8
Arise Academy 16.8
Sci Tech Academy at Laurel Elementary 16.4
Murray Henderson Elementary School 15.2
Alice M. Harte Elementary Charter School 13.8
Nelson Elementary School 13.7
Pierre A. Capdau Learning Academy 13.7
Esperanza Charter School 13.6
Edgar P. Harney Spirit of Excellence Academy 13.2


High Schools and Combination Schools
(at least 9th grade)
Lake Area New Tech Early College High School 40.8
Walter L. Cohen High School 36.6
Edna Karr High School 14.3
Lusher Charter School 13.2
Miller-McCoy Academy for Math and Business 11.8
Sylvanie Williams College Prep 11.2
Sarah Towles Reed Senior High School 10.7

* The state calculated growth using the Growth Performance Score (1 year of data) for 2012 and the Transitional Baseline SPS for 2011. See columns G and H in the state’s SPS Report


2012 represents the sixth year of sustained improvement for New Orleans public schools. Although individual school performance varied, the rise in our combined District Performance Score makes it clear that New Orleans is on the right path.

Our challenge going forward is to continue to improve, and at a faster rate than the rest of the state, so we can close the gap with (and soon surpass) the state average.

Educate Now! congratulates the hard working teachers, administrators and students who have shown that success is possible for New Orleans public schools.