The K-8 student test scores for Louisiana were released today, and New Orleans continues to improve.
Test Score Highlights
- For the 6th year in a row, student performance is up.
- Growth was less robust this year. While the RSD outperformed the state, for the first time since Katrina, OPSB did not.
- New Orleans Combined (OPSB +RSD) tied the state with a 2 point gain in the percentage of students Basic or above.
- New Orleans students performed better than last year in all four subjects (English, Math, Science and Social Studies).
- We reduced the percentage of students performing in the lowest category (Unsatisfactory).
- We increased the percentage of students performing above grade level (Mastery and Advanced). Continue reading
Orleans Public School Enrollment Continues to Climb with Increase in Diversity and Charter Choice
- New Orleans continues its steady increase in enrollment, growing from 39,877 students last year to 42,030 this year.
- The student population continues to diversify, with the percentage of non-African American students growing to 13.7% this year, up from 11.3% last year and 6.6% before Katrina.
- The percentage of students attending charter schools increased sizably, from 71% last year to 77.5% this year
- The percent of students qualifying for free and reduced lunch has remained fairly constant – 83.5% – and is more than 16 percentage points higher than the state average.
View student enrollment for OPSB and RSD by year and by sub-group (white, black, free, reduced).
View the Oct 1 student enrollment by school.
For more information on children in New Orleans, read this report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. It includes demographic and socio-economic data as well as information on educational achievement.
Since 2005, New Orleans has improved more than
any other school district in Louisiana.
District Performance Highlights
Educate Now! calculates that the combined DPS for New Orleans should be around 82.4. This means that New Orleans has grown a stunning 25.5 points – 49% – between 2005 and 2011!
#1 in Growth Since 2005
District Performance Score = All students, all grades, all tests
The 2011 combined DPS for New Orleans was calculated by Educate Now!
What are End of Course Tests (EOCs)?
Louisiana is phasing out the Graduation Exit Exam (GEE) and replacing it with specific End of Course tests, or EOCs.
There are six EOC exams. Beginning with the freshman class of 2010-11, students must pass at least three of the tests to graduate:
- English II or English III
- Algebra I or Geometry
- Biology or American History
Like the GEE, if a student does not pass the test on their first attempt, they have other opportunities to take the test.
Last year, the state tested students in Algebra I, English II, and Geometry. Tests for Biology, English III and American History will be phased in over the next two years.
The Louisiana Department of Education recently released the 2010-11 End of Course test results for Algebra I, English II and Geometry. Educate Now! analyzed student performance for New Orleans schools, focusing specifically on Algebra I and English II.
How did our students do?
Algebra I: New Orleans (all OPSB and RSD schools) outperformed many other school districts, posting its highest ranking relative to other school districts on any state administered test- ever! Continue reading
New Orleans students are closing the achievement gap!
Some of the most persistent achievement gaps in New Orleans – between black and white, the poor and the well-off, those with and without special needs – are shrinking, and at a pace that is much faster than ever before.
- This year, for the first time since Louisiana began keeping track, African-American students in New Orleans performed better than African-American students statewide.
- New Orleans’ poor students and students with disabilities are also rapidly closing the performance gap compared to state performance.
According to The Education Trust, a national organization whose mission is to close achievement gaps, “This is really meaningful progress.” Continue reading
Voucher Program Faltering: Accountability and Performance Standards Needed
Educate Now! analyzed student test scores from voucher schools and compared them to New Orleans Recovery School District (RSD) schools. We found that for the second year in a row, students participating in the voucher program performed worse than students in the RSD!
Comparing 3rd, 4th and 5th graders
- Statewide: 75% performed on grade level (Basic or above)
- RSD schools: 49% performed on grade level
- Voucher schools: Only 38% performed on grade level
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
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