2017 Poll Quick Take

Poll Quick Take Final ImageAugust 2017 - In May 2017, the Cowen Institute released its annual report on local residents’ perceptions of public education in New Orleans. Afterwards, we met with many stakeholders to discuss our findings, including OPSB members, educators, researchers, and teachers. During these discussions, stakeholders requested more detailed information on some of our questions, broken down by sub-categories. In response to those conversations, we are publishing this new report. This Cowen QuickTake offers a deeper assessment of those sections of our 2017 polling data, with a special focus on the differences between the views of public and private school parents.

School Governance for 2017-2018

Governance-poster 17-18 revised draft for printerAugust 2017 - Today, the Cowen Institute released it’s annual chart depicting the governance of New Orleans schools. The chart outlines the authorizer of every school in the city, and details all the changes that have occurred in the system heading into the 2017-2018 school year. It’s a must-have for understanding school governance before all RSD charters transition to OPSB oversight next year.

Perceptions of Public Education in New Orleans

Poll 2017 - 05.20vrfinaledits 1May 2017 - Today, the Cowen Institute at Tulane University released its annual poll, Perceptions of Public Education in New Orleans 2017. The report finds that New Orleans parents and residents broadly support public education reforms in New Orleans with 63 percent saying charter schools have improved education in the city and 54 percent believing that the city’s open enrollment policy has had a positive impact on the quality of education. Additionally, respondents expressed strong support for accountability changes for public schools that place greater priority on student growth rather than absolute performance. Eighty-four percent of respondents also stated that education should be a top priority for the city over the next decade. Read the full report here.

How Can We Measure School Performance?

AccountabilityApril 2017 - The Cowen Institute’s new report, How Can We Measure School Performance? examines accountability systems for schools, comparing both national and international frameworks. The publication of the report coincides with the efforts of the Louisiana Department of Education and Orleans Parish School Board to revise their accountability standards. By examining the ways in which other communities hold their schools accountable, the report offers ideas on innovative practices and measurement tools. The report shows that accountability is not a one-size-fits-all model and that there are many ways to approach this issue. It is intended to inform both education stakeholders and the public-at-large as they consider changes to the current accountability standards.

The State of Public Education in New Orleans

Pages from SPENO 2017 Final WebFebruary 2017 - Today, the Cowen Institute at Tulane University released The State of Public Education in New Orleans 2016-17. The report is the Institute’s annual analysis of the city’s unique and ever-evolving public education system. This year’s report finds that school performance scores continues to increase, while areas for improvement and progress remain. The report also assesses the impact that RSD-OPSB school unification will likely have on students and families.

The State of Public Education in New Orleans includes comparisons of student performance in New Orleans to students nationwide, as well as discussion of how schools are financed. It also features an interview with Louisiana Department of Education Superintendent John White regarding school unification.

The Cowen Institute would also like to thank Avie and Jill Glazer for their generous support of this report.

What’s the plan for school unification?

expanded-unification-briefNovember 2016 - Today, the Cowen Institute at Tulane University released a guide to help New Orleans’ families understand the unification process of public schools in the city. The Plan for School Unification in New Orleans explains that in most ways, the day-to-day experiences of students and families will largely remain unchanged as a result of unification. Unification will not affect school letter grades, curriculum, staffing in schools, or how families enroll through the OneApp process.

No Longer Invisible: Opportunity Youth in New Orleans

oy-data-guide-2016-cover_page_01October 2016 - The Cowen Institute has released No Longer Invisible: Opportunity Youth in New Orleans. This new report outlines the challenges facing 16-24 year olds in New Orleans who are disconnected from employment and education. These young people are often referred to as opportunity youth. The report found that there are 6,820 opportunity youth in New Orleans, which was 14 percent of all 16-24 year olds in the city. Those youth faced significant economic barriers: a third lived below the poverty line and these young people also received food stamps and were uninsured at high rates.

To address a challenge as complex as youth disconnection, the report recommends expanded efforts to leverage the educational experiences of the city’s opportunity youth to link them to employment. The Cowen Institute supports numerous initiatives to reconnect opportunity youth, such as the EMPLOY Collaborative, the Earn and Learn apprenticeship program and New Orleans Opportunity Works. EMPLOY’s Youth Action Team, a committee of New Orleans young people, reviewed and advised on the report. The report was supported by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

Jump Start Videos

October 2016: Are you ready to laugh, cry, and learn about Louisiana’s newest high school degree career pathway? You’d better be. The Cowen Institute has released five new videos explaining the Jump Start initiative. The videos provide a closer look at Jump Start, offering insights on the objectives of the program, how it aligns students to jobs that actually exists, how it will impact counselors, and what it means for New Orleans’ high schools. Links to all five videos below, so be sure to watch them all.


The Year Ahead: New Orleans’ Public Education Governance for 2016-17

governance-poster 16-17FINAL August 2016 – The Cowen Institute released our annual chart on the governance structure of public schools in New Orleans. The chart offers a comprehensive overview of public education in the city for the 2016-17 school year. It outlines which schools are transitioning from the Recovery School District to the Orleans Parish School Board, as well as which schools are opening and adding grade levels. We also have copies of chart available as a poster. If you would like a copy of the governance chart poster, please contact Vincent Rossmeier, Policy Director at the Cowen Institute, at vrossmei@tulane.edu. You can also download the chart here. You can also download a version without school performance scores.

LEA Status: Why It Matters For Schools Returning to the OPSB

Cowen Institute LEA Status Brief June 2016 FINAL_Page_1As schools begin to return to the OPSB, a crucial decision for school leaders and charter boards is whether each school retains its own status as a Local Education Agency (LEA), or instead join the LEA of OPSB. Our new brief discusses why this decision is so important, and what financial and operational implications ought to be considered. The brief is targeted at charter school board members and outlines how schools face a decision of whether to maintain their own LEA status or join the OPSB’s, as well as the implications of that choice.

The Future of TOPS

As lawmakers consider cost-cutting measures to overhaul the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS), the Cowen Institute has released a new report outlining how proposed changes to the state’s largest college scholarship program would affect students and access to higher education in Louisiana. The Future of TOPS examines how raising academic standards or moving to a need-based system would affect the program.

Read the full report and watch the video.

Click here for information on the Earn and Learn Career Pathways Program.

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