Performance is uneven in traditional public schools. Performance is uneven in charter schools. It should come as no surprise that performance is uneven in nonpublic schools.
Let’s look at two schools participating in the Orleans voucher pilot: St. Leo the Great and Upperroom Bible Church Academy.
- Last year, St. Leo had 136 voucher students; Upperroom Bible had 74.
- Both began participation 4 years ago, beginning with students in grades K-3.
- Both had more than 60% of their total student population receiving vouchers.
- Students enrolling in either school from grades 1 and up came from a failing school.
- Students at both schools took the same state tests – iLeap and LEAP.
But the similarities stop here. 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
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