ICYMI: Will OPSB Charter Its Last 5 Direct-Run Schools?

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

Will OPSB Convert Remaining Schools to Charters?

It’s possible that OPSB’s five remaining direct-run schools will be converted to charters, making New Orleans the country’s first 100% charter school district. Supt. Henderson Lewis, Jr. received “informal expressions of interest from current school and charter leaders” about converting Ben Franklin Elementary, Eleanor McMain, Mahalia Jackson, Mary Bethune, and McDonogh 35 to charters authorized by OPSB.

Some McDonogh 35 alumni are concerned about converting McDonogh 35 high school into a charter school. After Katrina, OPSB converted most of its other direct-run high schools to charters, and all of these Type 3 conversion charters have an A or B letter grade, including those that are open-admission and participate in OneApp. McDonogh 35 received a low C in 2016 and is OPSB’s lowest rated high school.


Type 3 Charter
2016 Grade
Ben Franklin
Edna Karr (open-enrollment)
Warren Easton (open-enrollment)
Sci High (open-enrollment)

Well Done!

Xavier University is partnering with New Schools for New Orleans (NSNO) and five Charter Management Organizations to implement an innovative teacher residency program designed to improve teacher quality and teacher retention and expand the pool of locally-educated teachers, especially teachers of color. Participants in the Norman C. Francis Teacher Residency will complete traditional coursework at Xavier and then receive extensive classroom experience, supervised by a mentor, at a local charter school.

A new national report singled out Louisiana for doing a good job preparing teachers for new, more rigorous academic standards. It found teachers in Louisiana are better at providing instruction aligned with state standards than their peers in other states and credits Louisiana’s Department of Education for adopting strategies that help teachers address state standards more deeply and thoughtfully and providing concrete tools and resources that help them succeed.

Changing Accountability Standards

The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires every state to submit a plan for how it will spend federal funds and measure student outcomes. As part of Louisiana’s ESSA deliberations, the Accountability Commission recently met to discuss how to measure school performance. The state Department of Education is recommending student growth count for 25 percent of a School Performance Score, up from 10 percent currently, and they presented the Commission with five different methodologies to consider for measuring growth. For those interested in better understanding the different ways to measure academic growth, find time to review this PowerPoint presentation.

A separate panel, named by Gov. John Bel Edwards to advise him on ESSA, recommended major changes in public school policies in its first report, including changes to the teacher evaluation system, less science testing in grades 3 to 8, and a reversal in the state’s plan to raise academic standards by making “mastery” the criterion for an A school. Editor’s note: BESE and State Superintendent John White have the final authority to submit Louisiana’s ESSA plan to the U.S. Department of Education. 

Other Local News

BESE voted not to renew charters for Milestone Academy and McDonogh 42. Milestone will close, and McDonogh 42 will be assigned a new operator.  

New Orleans special education students are finding meaning and developing skills after high school at Collegiate’s Opportunities Academy.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu is reconsidering plans to build a low-barrier homeless shelter near two public schools in Central City.