ICYMI: New Orleans School Board Endorses Platform

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

School Board Endorses Platform

The Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) is moving forward with a shared vision and platform for New Orleans schools. Five incumbents have retained their seats. Leslie Ellison, Woody Koppel and Nolan Marshall Jr. defeated their challengers in the recent election, and John Brown and Sarah Usdin won unopposed. Two new members join the school board: Ben Kleban and Ethan Ashley.

All seven members of the board have pledged their support for a series of goals and action items developed by Forward New Orleans Public Schools (FNOPS). The FNOPS platform covers eight different commitments: to expand high-quality, high-performing schools; serve students equitably; ensure equal access to schools; enforce school autonomy with accountability; act as a responsible resource manager; engage in system-wide strategic planning; collaborate to implement best practices; and promote academic excellence and equity for all public school students.

FNOPS says it will hold OPSB members accountable by monitoring their performance and reporting on their progress in achieving these goals. The FNOPS platform was endorsed by a broad coalition of civic and business leaders, including the Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region, the Urban League of Louisiana, 100 Black Men, OPEN, the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools, Educate Now!, and many others.

More Shout Outs on School Performance

School Performance Scores (SPS) were released last week. Educate Now!’s analysis included shout outs to schools that performed particularly well, and we want to add to that list. Congratulations to:

  • Inspire NOLA for achieving a 29.2 SPS gain in its first year operating Wilson Charter School.
  • Lake Forest Elementary Charter for being in the top 20 statewide (# 18)

For more on School Performance Scores, view Danielle Dreilinger’s 6 takeaways, which note the RSD’s first A school, Kipp Renaissance High, and a very poor performance by the Algiers Charter School Association, which received one C, three Ds and two Fs. Download the 2016 Scores for New Orleans.

National Headlines

Post-election, many schools are grappling with a rise in aggressive and hate-filled behavior, including racial incidents and bullying.

New research shows Black students are less likely to get suspended when taught by Black teachers, while white students are not significantly impacted by teacher race. In New Orleans, schools are trying to bring more balance to the teaching force by working with universities and nonprofits to expand the pipeline of Black and “homegrown” teachers.

The group Achieve evaluated high school diplomas in all 50 states to see which states are preparing graduates for life after high school. According to Achieve’s report, Louisiana has three high school diplomas that meet their expectations for college and career readiness and two that do not.

The benefits of investing in early care and education programs (birth to age 5) don’t fade away in elementary school, according to new study of over 1 million children by the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy. According to the study, North Carolina saw higher test scores, less grade retention, and fewer special education placements as a result of their programs.

Louisiana Headlines

School Readiness Tax Credits are benefiting Louisiana families and communities, according to a new report. The tax credits, which focus on early care and education for children birth to age 5, have resulted in better care, more qualified teachers, and more federal dollars for Louisiana.

Tuition bills for TOPS recipients will be even higher than expected for the spring term. Students will be responsible for approximately 58 percent of their tuition, up from 6 percent in the fall and higher than the 52 percent originally estimated. Both UNO and Northwestern State will cover the difference for their students this spring, but LSU will not.

Local News

Key aspects of New Orleans’ centralized enrollment system are working the way they should, according to a third party, independent certification of OneApp data. Applicants are receiving the highest ranked school placement that had a seat available given their priority and lottery number, and groups of siblings are being correctly assigned together whenever possible.

The Orleans Parish School Board has approved specific performance objectives for Supt. Henderson Lewis Jr. He is expected to improve the academic results of OPSB’s network schools and more efficiently and effectively manage their finances by separating them out in the budget, in addition to meeting at least 75 percent of the unification plan deadlines.


Louisiana high school seniors and juniors can compete for college scholarships and awards in the 8th Annual Art Contest of the George Rodrigue Foundation. The Grand Prize winner will have their design incorporated into the official New Orleans Tricentennial Poster, to be sold at 300th Anniversary events across the city. The first place senior winner will receive a $6,000 college scholarship, and the top ten senior and top five junior winners will receive scholarships ranging from $5,500 to $250. Artwork will be judged on concept/design, technical skill and creativity, and all submissions must be received by January 20, 2017. To enter, visit www.georgerodriguefoundation.org.