Tulane University, one of the nation’s most prestigious research universities and the largest employer in New Orleans, is taking a leadership role in the process of transforming K-12 public education in the city. The Cowen Institute, which opened its doors in March 2007, is an action-oriented think tank that informs and advances solutions – through policies, programs, and partnerships – to eliminate the challenges impeding the success of K-12 education in New Orleans and beyond. By leveraging Tulane’s human, intellectual, political, financial, and social capital, we are pioneering a new role for major research universities to interact with K-12 public education systems in their respective communities. Our work is focused in the following areas: Applied Research, Public Policy, Civic Engagement, and College Readiness Programs.
The Latest from the Cowen Institute
K-12 Public Education through the Public’s Eye: Voters’ Perception of Public Education (April 2013)
Our recent poll, K-12 Public Education through the Public’s Eye: Voters’ Perception of Public Education, surveyed New Orleans’ voters’ opinions of the city’s public school system on a number of subjects, such as their confidence in the Orleans Parish School Board, what should be done about failing schools, and the impacts of school choice.
Spotlight on Choice: Parent Opinions on School Selection in New Orleans (January 2013)
In a series of focus groups on schools choice, the Cowen Institute collected feedback on the school selection process from over 80 families with school-age children in New Orleans. Our January 2013 report, Spotlight on Choice: Parent Opinions on School Selection, evaluates the effectiveness of school choice as a successful reform strategy.
Based on the focus group discussions, we conclude that, due to limited seats at high quality schools and a complicated application process, school choice in New Orleans currently does an inadequate job providing all parents with access to the best schools for their children. Click here to download the report.
The State of Public Education in New Orleans (July 2012)
The 2011-12 school year was, in many ways, the beginning of a new era in New Orleans’ public education landscape. The year was marked by momentous changes in leadership and strategy at both the state and local levels.
Reflecting on the past school year, the 2012 State of Public Education in New Orleans provides information about the current system of schools based on available quantitative data, newspaper stories and interviews, and a comprehensive survey of New Orleans public school parents. The report also offers a number of successes as well as key challenges that still face public education in New Orleans. We hope this year’s report will continue to serve as a definitive source of information about New Orleans public education for policy makers, educators, parents, nonprofits, the media, and the community at large. Click here to download the report.
The State of Public Education in Louisiana (March 2012)
The Scott S. Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives has released its annual State of Public Education in Louisiana report, which is meant to inform our state legislators and key stakeholders on public education issues in Louisiana.
The report provides basic information on public education in Louisiana with sections covering school governance, demographics, enrollment, academic performance, funding, and facilities. Sections of the report also cover the Race to the Top program, the Recovery School District, charter schools, and school choice in Louisiana. Click here to download the entire report and here to download sections of the report.
From President Scott Cowen
“From being ranked one of the worst school districts in the country, New Orleans has responded with a new philosophy that empowers schools to be the centerpiece for transformation and holds them accountable. Through the work of the Cowen Institute, Tulane’s commitment to improving the educational opportunities for every child in the city has become a reality.”