One of the key goals of K-12 education is to give our students the educational foundation they need to be college or career ready. In Louisiana, we have a good benchmark to measure this preparedness – what percent of our students qualify for TOPS, a program that provides two- and four-year merit-based scholarships to Louisiana public colleges and universities.
Educate Now! recently reviewed the TOPS data, and New Orleans continues to close the gap.
- The percent of Orleans Parish public school students eligible for TOPS scholarships (two- or four-year) has grown from 24.9% in 2005 to 37.2% for last year’s graduates – a gain of 12.3 percentage points.
- During this same time, the state average grew only 5.2 percentage points, from 37.3% in 2005 to 42.5% in 2011. Continue reading
In 2010, Educate Now! convened a Task Force to consider long-term governance alternatives for New Orleans public schools. In a series of meetings over several months, the members of the Task Force worked on how best to restore local control of public education without imperiling the considerable academic progress since 2005.
The Task Force determined that New Orleans requires a unique governance structure to manage the new “system of schools” that has evolved since Katrina. The structure that the Task Force recommended is called the Return Model.
The Return Model: A New Approach to Governance for Schools in Orleans Parish
Interviews: Leslie Jacobs Explains the Return Model
Comment on the Return Model
The Return Model report lays out the governance system that the Task Force recommended. Not every detail is attended to, and Educate Now! expects and invites community debate that will further refine the model.
Top 5 Stories of 2010
1. New Orleans public school students (RSD+OPSB) ranked #1 in the state for improved student achievement – both for the year and for the 2005-10 period!
2. FEMA announces a $1.8 billion settlement for rebuilding and repairing New Orleans school facilities.
FEMA Awards $1.8 Billion to New Orleans Schools for Construction, Renovation Projects
Times-Picayune – August 25, 2010
School Facilities Master Plan – Adopted August 2008
Latest Draft of RSD Building Assignment Recommendations – Revised December 2010
After a 13-hour, marathon day of meetings, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) has approved the following items in committee. While these votes are preliminary – each committee recommendation will be considered by the full Board on Thursday – items recommended by committees are almost always approved by the full Board.
1. Pastorek’s Return of School Proposal: Approved
The Recovery School District Committee approved Superintendent Pastorek’s Revised Plan for Return of Schools by a vote of 4 to 2. Continue reading
New Orleans Schools Show Great Improvement
The Louisiana Department of Education has just released the 2010 School Performance Scores (SPS) and District Performance Scores (DPS).
So, how did New Orleans schools do in 2010?
1. The percentage of failing schools continues to decline. Continue reading
Fact: For many schools, only the name is the same.
Comparing the performance of individual New Orleans public schools with the same name pre- and post-Katrina is not a valid analysis.
Why? We shuffled the deck.
Schools with the same name may:
- be in a different location
- have different grade configurations
- no longer serve the surrounding neighborhood
- have different admission requirements Continue reading
Fact: Since the state takeover, student improvement has more than doubled!
Educate Now! compared the percent of students Basic or above in math and English on the 4th and 8th grade LEAP and the 10th grade GEE tests for 2000, 2005 and 2010.* (For other grades the state changed the tests, so we can’t compare pre- and post-storm numbers.)
- From 2000 to 2005, the percent of students scoring Basic or above increased from 30% to 37%, a gain of 7 points.
- From 2005 to 2010, the percent of students scoring Basic or above increased from 37% to 53%, a gain of 16 points! Continue reading