Grades 3-8 Test Scores Are In

New Orleans Flat; State Flat

The Louisiana Department of Education (LDE) has released the 2014 test scores for grades 3-8. The percent of students performing Basic or above remained unchanged from 2013. This is the first year since Katrina that New Orleans did not improve.

  • The state average remained the same at 69% Basic or above.
  • New Orleans (RSD & OPSB) remained the same at 63% Basic or above.
  • OPSB went down 2 points; RSD remained the same; and Type 2 charters grew 5 points.

Percent Basic or Above – Grades 3-8

District 2013 2014 Change
69% 69% 0
All New Orleans
63% 63% 0
RSD – N.O.
57% 57% 0
84% 82% -2
Type 2 charters – N.O.
73% 78% 5

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In the News – OPSB Interviews New Candidates Today

Superintendent Search Continues

Orleans Parish School Board considers former Jefferson Parish, Memphis superintendents for top job
The Orleans Parish School Board is meeting Thursday to interview three new, more experienced candidates for superintendent. The additional finalists are: Kriner Cash, the former superintendent in Memphis, Veronica Conforme, the former chief operating officer of New York City schools, and Diane Roussel McDonald, the former superintendent in Jefferson Parish.

Student Voices

Time magazine recently published opinion pieces from two New Orleans high school students on its website. In Teach For America Deserves Credit for Improving New Orleans Schools, Brianisha Frith, a junior at KIPP Renaissance High School, writes about the TFA teachers that inspired her and held her to a very high standard. “Their drive to educate every single child is refreshing and dignifying,” she says. In New Orleans Charter Schools Shouldn’t Treat Students Like Prisoners, Kenyatta Collins, a junior at Lake Area New Tech High School, describes her experiences with very strict discipline policies. She says the discipline at her school focuses too much on behavior rather than academic performance. Both essays are part of a collaboration between The Hechinger Report and high school students at Bard’s Early College in New Orleans. Editor’s note: Hats off to Bard’s Early College Program. These are two very well written essays!

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Who’s Going to College

Who’s Going to College? A new report from the Louisiana Department of Education shows how many students from the class of 2012 enrolled in college after high school. For the Class of 2012 (OPSB & RSD combined):

  • 58% of graduates enrolled in college right after high school.
  • By the fall of 2013, college enrollment went up 10 points to 68% of graduates.
  • This is 2 points higher than the state average of 66%.

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In the News – May 13th

Superintendent Search Struggles

Orleans School Board to continue superintendent search this month
OPSB is planning another round of interviews with new applicants for the school superintendent position. The board interviewed an initial group of four finalists in March but never voted to bring any of them back for a follow up. Stan Smith has served as Interim Superintendent for close to two years.

St. Louis superintendent: New Orleans schools job is not appealing
Kevin Adams, the Superintendent of Schools for St. Louis, says he is not interested in becoming the Superintendent for New Orleans Public Schools. Adams was a chief of staff for the RSD and was one of the most talked-about possibilities for the superintendent’s job, but he says he didn’t apply because the future of OPSB is still unclear. OPSB’s district is small, with only 11,000 students, and it’s uncertain when or if schools in the RSD will return to local control.

Latest on Common Core

Students give Common Core tests high marks
The first phase of Common Core field testing in Louisiana is complete, and according to the Department of Education, nearly 70% of the 25,000 students who took the tests said PARCC was easier or about the same as their current schoolwork. Nearly 85% said none or few questions dealt with materials they hadn’t discussed in class. The second phase of field testing (with another 25,000 students) has already begun.

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In the News – Cause for Celebration

New Orleans Students Are College Bound

New Orleans public school seniors celebrate acceptances to college
Great news from New Orleans high schools! Ninety-five percent of seniors will graduate this spring (compared to only 79% in 2005), and so far 2,500 seniors have received college acceptances from more than 345 colleges and earned $53 million in merit scholarships. There is no doubt that lives are being changed thanks to the hard work of teachers, administrators, community members and the students themselves.

Congratulations to the class of 2014!

Academic Growth Defies Poverty

Cowen report: Sharp academic growth defies New Orleans’ widespread poverty
The percentage of students eligible for free or reduced lunch has gone up 9% since 2004, and yet the average school performance score in New Orleans has risen by 41%, according to a report from Tulane’s Cowen Institute. The report highlights the success of efforts to improve schools since Katrina.

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