Pre-Katrina, New Orleans had one of the worst dropout rates in Louisiana, and Louisiana had one of the worst dropout rates in the nation.
Educate Now! was curious to know how New Orleans is doing today. We hadn’t seen any dropout data for New Orleans since Katrina, so we contacted the Louisiana Department of Education and got the 2008-09 dropout numbers for every school in Orleans parish. The 2008-09 data is the most recent year available because dropout reporting lags a year. (The 2009-10 data will be released next spring.)
The Good News: We are better in 2008-09 than we were in 2004-05.
The Bad News: We are still above the state average and have a lot of room for improvement.
Two years ago, Louisiana enacted the Student Scholarship for Educational Excellence Program, a pilot voucher program in New Orleans designed to offer students an alternative to attending a failing public school. The voucher program gives parents of eligible students in New Orleans the choice of attending non-public schools that have agreed to participate in the program, and the state pays the tuition.
As a district of choice, Orleans families have multiple education options, including the voucher program. There has been great focus on the reforms inside the Recovery School District (RSD) and the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB). With the recent test score release, we now have data to begin evaluating the performance of voucher students. Continue reading
Student performance continues to rise!
The recently released 2010 Test Scores are great news for New Orleans. Across the city, student achievement continues to improve.
- For the third year in a row, more students passed the high-stakes LEAP tests.
- Significantly more students met the state proficiency goal of Basic or above.
- The Recovery School District (RSD) is #1 in the state in increasing the percentage of students scoring Basic or above. The Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) is tied for 4th highest.
- In cumulative gains (over three years), the RSD is again #1, and OPSB tied with one other district for 3rd highest gains.