ICYMI: A Week of Research

In Case You Missed It (ICYMI) … Your mini news clippings

New Orleans Charters Outperform

Charter schools in urban areas are outperforming traditionally operated public schools, according to CREDO’s latest report. CREDO has been studying charter school performance for a number of years. This latest study included 41 cities and found students in urban charters gained 40 more days of math and 28 more days of reading than their peers in traditional public schools. New Orleans’ results were among the strongest:

  • Students in New Orleans charters gained the equivalent of an extra 86 days in math and 63 days in English compared to their peers in traditional public schools. (Louisiana assumes a 180 day school year, so about one half of a school year extra in math and one-third in reading)
  • This puts New Orleans 7th out of 41 urban areas studied.

Other Research

US News and World Report focuses on New Orleans public schools in a story on equity in school choice. This story was in response to a report from the Education Research Alliance (ERA) on how schools in New Orleans respond to competition. Both US News and World Report and the Times-Picayune point out how New Orleans is ensuring equity of access through OneApp.

In 2012-13, ERA interviewed a total of 30 schools (conventional and charter) in both the OPSB and the RSD and found that 10 of the 30 schools had strategies to select students. (Two of the 10 were known selective admissions schools.) The author declares, “Without more efforts to manage the current responses to competition like student selection and exclusion, New Orleans could end up with a less equitable school system.” ERA’s report failed to document how OneApp has addressed this issue (a fact the researcher acknowledged verbally).

As other cities look to New Orleans for “lessons learned,” it is disappointing ERA chose to publish a study in 2015 that not only used outdated information, but also failed to explore how the problem is being solved.

Other Local News

Forbes profiled 4.0 Schools and its investment in entrepreneurs to change the future of education by starting new schools in New Orleans.

Kevin McGill has been a writer for the Associated Press for quite awhile. His take on Ira Thomas’ indictment was picked up by other Louisiana papers.

OPSB appointed John Brown Sr. to replace Ira Thomas on the school board.

The new OPSB Superintendent, Henderson Lewis Jr., expects schools to return to local control, but not right away and not by going back to way things were.

Governor Jindal suffered another defeat on the Common Core front when a District Court judge threw out the lawsuit filed by legislators claiming BESE and the LDOE didn’t comply with the state’s Administrative Procedures Act when implementing Common Core.

Special Education News

New Schools for New Orleans (NSNO) recently announced $3.4 million in grants to selected schools to build their capacity to serve students with special needs.

And, NSNO was just awarded a $2.4 million federal grant to invest in partnerships between human capital providers and CMOs to build the capacity of educators to instruct students with special needs.

Adam Hawf, formerly with the Louisiana Department of Education and now a Practitioner in Residence with the Center on Reinventing Public Education, outlines how charter schools (OPSB and RSD) are addressing special education in New Orleans.

Some National Stories

According to the U.S. Department of Education, more than half of middle-class students fail to earn bachelor’s degrees within six to eight years.

Grading Teachers by the Test is a thoughtful New York Times summary of the issues around value added teacher evaluation.

The New York Times also looks at Gov. Jindal’s Implosion.

Shout Outs!

Sarah Carr won a national award from the Education Writers Association for How Strict Is Too Strict?, a story in The Atlantic on school discipline in Mississippi and New Orleans.

Makiyah Moody from the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools wrote a very insightful post called Stop the Madness: Board Members Behaving Badly for Liquid Studios – a suggested read for any charter board member.