Education Equity

Fast Facts

  • In 2005, Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) ranked 67th out of 68 school districts in Louisiana. In 2014, OPSB ranked 2nd with a letter grade of A, while Recovery School District- New Orleans (RSD-NO) ranked 61st (out of 73) with a letter grade of C.

  • In 2014, Louisiana ranked 48th in the nation in reading and math proficiency.

  • The majority of schools are now under OPSB for the first time since 2004. By the fall of 2018, all RSD schools will be back under our locally elected school board.

 

Public Opinion

  • 54% of Whites believed public schools are better post-Katrina as compared to 29% of African Americans (Cowen Institute, April 2013).

 

Governance

  • 93% of New Orleans public school students are enrolled in charter schools.

  • New Orleans is slated to become the first U.S. city with virtually all of its public schools run by charter organizations starting next school year.

  • The Orleans Parish School Board voted 5-2 on a plan to have InspireNOLA, a high-performing charter operator, temporarily run McDonogh 35 Senior High School, which has been the city’s only non-charter public high school.

  • Charter schools are privately owned, their board leadership rarely reflects the communities they serve, and the teachers employed at these schools generally have little experience. 

 

Louisiana Act I (2012) ties teacher tenure to the state’s value-added evaluation model, of which 50% of teacher/administrator evaluations are composed of student learning gain measures (this also applies to non-testing grades and subjects). Tenured teachers with an ineffective rating can lose their tenure.

 

Louisiana Scholarship Program allows families living up to 250% above federal poverty guidelines with children attending a public school with a C, D, or F to acquire scholarships to attend approved private schools, further expanding school options for underserved families. However, scholarships are limited (e.g., 12,000 applications and 6,700 scholarships) and about 45% of participating schools are equivalent to D or F schools.

 

The Louisiana GRAD Act    is designed to increase effectiveness and efficiency of state colleges and universities by eliminating remedial courses, increasing admissions standards and establishing performance benchmarks in exchange for increased autonomy. The GRAD Act has reduced access to 4-year universities for some students and negatively impacted some university systems with high-need students. 

 

College Participation

  • In 2005, OPSB graduated 2868 seniors. Of those graduates, 20% enrolled in college and 35% of these enrollees were in remedial classes.

  • In 2009, New Orleans Public Schools graduated 2,090 students. Of those students, 33% enrolled in college, 74% in remedial classes.

  • In 2012, New Orleans Public Schools had 2,271 graduates, of which 58% enrolled in college (34% in 2-year and 66% in 4-year colleges).