K-12 Public Education through the Public’s Eye: Parents’ and Adults’ Perception of Education in New Orleans

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.

While progress has been made in New Orleans’ public education, there is still room for improvement, according to this year’s survey results. The majority of respondents believe that charter schools have improved education in the city and were more likely to send their child to New Orleans’ public schools than before Hurricane Katrina. A majority of parents believe that their child’s school provides a safe place to learn and prepares their child for life after high school. Parents also tended to believe that there was sufficient information for choosing a school in the current open enrollment landscape. There was also strong support for career and technical training as well as shared academic standards, as long as they are not called Common Core. A plurality of respondents believed that schools are better now than before Hurricane Katrina and would recommend New Orleans public schools to a friend or family member. Respondents most often agreed with the state’s decision to take over most schools after Hurricane Katrina and believe that current governance policies are best. Despite these positive takeaways, respondents still think New Orleans public schools can improve. Collectively, they viewed public schools as average and respondents were still more likely to believe private schools are better. While respondents strongly supported career and technical education, many felt the school system could do better at preparing students for life after high school. Finally, respondents still do not have complete faith in OPSB’s ability to govern all New Orleans schools.

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

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

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