OPSB-BESE Candidate Forum

October 8, 2015 at Dillard University’s Georges’ Auditorium

opsb-bese-forumIn advance of this fall’s elections, we are co-hosting a forum at Dillard University on Thursday, October 8, 2015, that will give the public the chance to hear from the candidates running for local and state education boards. We are partnering with The Urban League of New Orleans, Policy Institute for Children, Orleans Public Education Network, and Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans on the forum. It will feature all candidates appearing on the October 24 ballot for positions on the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB), as well as Districts 1 and 2 of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE).

The forum will be held on October 8, from 6 p.m. until 7:30 pm at the Georges’ Auditorium at Dillard University, located at 2601 Gentilly Blvd. The auditorium is located in room 115 of the Professional Schools and Sciences Building.

Cowen Institute Releases Brief on School Governance

governance.brief.coverThe Cowen Institute has released a new report on the ever-evolving structure of public school governance in New Orleans, explaining what types of charter schools exist in the city and how schools changed between the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years. The policy brief is a primer on the decentralized governance structure of the city’s 82 public schools. The district has 75 charter schools, with the vast majority housed within the Recovery School District (RSD). Within the last year, the total number of RSD charters shrank by five schools, while another of the state’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (BESE) charter schools moved to New Orleans and the Orleans Parish School Board’s district grew by four charters.

Download the brief here.
Download just the governance charts here.

Cowen Institute Releases Brief on Common Core

common_core_coverCommon Core is at the forefront of contemporary education discussions in the United States. In the coming years, its adoption and implementation will be critical in defining what and how American students learn. The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) raise K-12 academic benchmarks, thereby requiring schools and districts to adopt new curricula and state officials to seek new student assessments. While Louisiana originally adopted Common Core, its future in the state is in question. This brief clarifies what Common Core is, presents what it will mean for states, and discusses what its future looks like in Louisiana.

Check out our new Common Core Site here.
Read and download the report here.
Download the infographic here.
Watch the video below.

Cowen Institute Receives Grant for Youth Career Pathways

Working on Computer

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has selected the Cowen Institute at Tulane University to receive a two-year $200,000 grant to support the Institute’s work in connecting Opportunity Youth with career pathways through the cross-sector EMPLOY collaborative. The grant will also help fund the implementation of a shared data system for youth service providers. Opportunity Youth are young adults aged 16-24 who are neither in school nor working.

Read the release here.

Cowen Institute at Tulane University Announces New Executive Director

Amanda Headshot

The Cowen Institute at Tulane University has hired Amanda Kruger Hill as its new executive director. Hill, a former high school principal who currently leads quality reviews of local schools and mentors principals through her work at New Schools for New Orleans, will assume the role of executive director at the Cowen Institute in mid-July.  Click here to read more about Cowen Institute’s new executive director.

The State of Public Education: Ten Years After Hurricane Katrina

SPENO-2015-CoverAnnually, The State of Public Education in New Orleans has served as the Institute’s flagship publication to inform the public, including parents, legislators, and city residents, about the impact the public education transformation has had on students, educators, and schools. This retrospective edition of the report includes data and analysis from the past ten years, providing historical context, as well as examination of the issues that will become crucial to address in the years to come.

This year’s report can be found at www.speno2015.com and has special interactive features that can only be found online. We interviewed 16 influential leaders in public education – you can watch their interviews here. We also created an interactive historical timeline that documents the evolution of public education in New Orleans, which can be viewed here. Click here to read the report.

Issue Briefs: Investing in Opportunity

Issue.Brief.02.WIOA.CoverThe Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act (WIOA), a new federal law that will provide more funding for job training and adult education could greatly benefit opportunity youth locally, according to a brief released today by the Cowen Institute in partnership with Baptist Community Ministries and the New Orleans Business Alliance. Opportunity Youth are young adults aged 16-24 who are neither in school nor working.

This brief provides background on the law, highlights why it is important, explains how it will be implemented, and investigates its effectiveness. Click here to read the report.

K-12 Public Education through the Public’s Eye

 Since 2009, the Cowen Institute has conducted an annual poll to assess local public perception of the public education system in New Orleans. We have done so out of the belief that understanding how the public at-large, and parents in particular, view these changes is a crucial part of evaluating the effect these changes have had on parents, students, and the community as a whole. These perceptions will likely help shape how public education will continue to evolve in New Orleans.

Click here to view the full poll, complete with analysis and take-aways.

Click here to view the toplines and see just the poll results.

Issue Briefs: CMOs in New Orleans

poicy_brief_no1_coverAccording to a brief released today by the Cowen Institute at Tulane University, 60 percent of public charter schools in New Orleans are now part of a charter management organization (CMO).

“This issue brief offers a unique analysis of the increasing prevalence of CMOs in New Orleans,” said Vincent Rossmeier, Director of Policy for the Cowen Institute. “The brief helps to highlight the benefits and drawbacks CMOs have for individual schools, students, parents, and administrators.”

Click here to read the press release.

New Earn and Learn Promotional Video

Check out our new video promoting our Earn and Learn Career Pathways Program!

Reconnecting Opportunity Youth: Data Reference Guide

roy_data_guide_coverToday, the Cowen Institute at Tulane University released Reconnecting Opportunity Youth: Data Reference Guide. The report, authored by Senior Policy Analyst Patrick Sims, is a comprehensive examination of opportunity youth at the national, state, and metropolitan levels from a cost and demographic perspective.

“This report provides a baseline for understanding who opportunity youth are both in New Orleans and nationally,” said Vincent Rossmeier, Director of Policy for the Cowen Institute. “Opportunity youth can truly be assets for their communities when they are reconnected to quality employment, educational, and training opportunities. Reconnection of this kind is the first step in ensuring opportunity youth persist on pathways to living-wage careers.”

Click here to visit our library, which contains a complete listing of all Cowen Institute publications from 2007 to the present.

Interactive Governance & School Guide

The Cowen Institute has launched a new interactive tool to help families who are currently gathering information to complete school applications.


Using the Cowen Institute Governance and School Guide, families can filter schools by performance, OneApp participation and geographic zones, grade levels, and by the mode of transportation offered. With the interactive map, families can determine how far a school is from their home and the length of commute by car, public transportation, bicycle, or on foot.

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