Orleans Public School Enrollment Continues to Climb with Increase in Diversity and Charter Choice

The Louisiana Department of Education has released the student enrollment data for the 2010-11 school year.

The remarkable gains in student academic performance since 2005 are accompanied by a steady increase in student enrollment, from 35,995 students in 2008, and 38,051 in 2009, to 39,877 this year. 

The data reflect that the student population is more diverse, with the percentage of non-African American students growing from 6.6% before Katrina to 11.3% this year.

Additionally, the percentage of students attending charter schools increased sizably, from 61% last year to 71% this year.

The most significant takeaway from this data is that as student enrollment continues to increase, schools are slowly becoming more integrated and parents are overwhelmingly choosing charter schools.

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Evaluating New Orleans Charter Schools

Charter school performance has recently been the subject of a number of reports. Some of the highlights:

1.     A national study of 36 charter schools in 15 states showed that on average students who won lotteries to attend charter middle schools performed no better in math and reading than their peers who lost the lottery and enrolled in regular public schools. At the same time, this federally commissioned study showed that charter schools were more effective when serving low-income, lower-achieving students (especially in urban areas) than they were serving higher-income, higher-achieving students.

Read more about the study in Education Week magazine.
Read the Mathematica study “Evaluation of Charter School Impacts.”

2.     Last month, the same research firm, Mathematica, found that KIPP students, most of whom are poor and from a racial minority, outperformed their peers in regular public schools. Read more about Mathematica’s KIPP study.

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