ICYMI: Positive Impact of School Closures and Takeovers

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

Positive Impact: School Closures and Takeovers 

School closures and takeovers can have strong positive effects on student outcomes, according to a new report from Tulane’s Education Research Alliance. Their study looked at school closures and takeovers from 2008 to 2014 in New Orleans and Baton Rouge and found:

  • In New Orleans, interventions typically targeted very low-performing schools, and students attended better schools afterwards.
  • Elementary students in New Orleans saw the most benefit, with affected students not only catching up to their peers in the comparison group, but surpassing them.
  • High school interventions in New Orleans boosted graduation rates for affected students by 20 percentage points.
  • High school students in Baton Rouge saw no positive impact after closures and fared worse in takeover schools, probably because affected students ended up in lower performing schools.
  • 25 to 40 percent of New Orleans’ academic improvement since Katrina can be attributed to school closures and takeovers.

In his review of the study, Neerav Kingland said it’s clear there are good ways and bad ways to close schools, and cities should not close failing schools and send children to other failing schools. “But the NOLA data indicates that it’s possible to help both existing and future students, which should increase your belief in the benefits of school closure.”

Supporting Students Beyond High School

Many schools in New Orleans have an expressed mission of getting their students through college. Thisexcellent series by Danielle Dreilinger in the Times-Picayune explores how difficult it can be for students to achieve this goal, especially for those who are the first in their family to go to college. The series includes:

State and National Headlines

BESE narrowly voted to overhaul teacher training in Louisiana to include one-year teacher residencies. Aspiring teachers will now be required to spend a full school year in a classroom with a veteran teacher as a mentor.

Student growth is a more accurate and fair measurement of school effectiveness than proficiency rates, according to Fordham Institute’s Michael Petrilli and Aaron Churchill.

Chicago Public Schools could become first school district to cap charter schools and charter enrollmentas part of a union contract.

The Washington Post looks at five myths about charter schools: charter schools are everywhere; charters are the brainchild of union-busting billionaires; charters are better than traditional schools; charter schools are public (or private); and all charters employ zero-tolerance discipline.

Closer to Home

Public school changes are already underway for next fall. Two elementary charter schools will open in Algiers – √Član Academy and Noble Minds. New Beginnings is merging Gentilly Terrace and Pierre Capdau elementary schools, which will occupy the newly built Avery Alexander campus. Algiers Technology Academy is being closed by its board due to low enrollment, and its students will be given priority enrollment in OneApp.

More than 6,800 New Orleans residents age 16-24 were not in school or working in 2014, according to anew report from Tulane’s Cowen Institute. These young people, known as opportunity youth, accounted for 14.5 percent of all city residents in that age group, which is less than Louisiana’s average of 19.8 percent but greater than the national average of 13.8 percent. The largest portion of opportunity youth in New Orleans were 24 years old, and 64 percent had a high school diploma or the equivalent, compared 83 percent of all New Orleanians age 16-24.

Three hundred male students in Orleans Parish met with NOPD officers to learn how to interact with police.