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This page contains a complete listing of all Cowen Institute publications from 2007 to the present. Filter by series or release date and click on the image of the report to access.

Report
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A Primer on Differentiated Funding
The brief explains the funding formula, and how it will fund city schools if it is adopted. A common differentiated funding formula to cover OPSB and RSD schools is important to ensure all schools are funded equitably based on the cost of serving their students. Download the brief here.
2016-03Quick Take
apprenticeships_coverApprenticeships in New Orleans & Louisiana
This brief advocates for an increase in apprenticeships across New Orleans and Louisiana as an effective way to link opportunity youth to successful careers. New Orleans has the third highest rate of opportunity youth among the 50 largest metro areas nationwide: nearly one in five young people between the ages of 16 and 24 are disconnected from education and employment. Apprenticeships directly connect youth to high-demand jobs, while also providing a highly-skilled, custom-trained workforce to employers. They are also one of the most effective and cost-efficient workforce training programs.

Watch the video here and download the brief here.

2015-10Issue Briefs
common_core_coverCommon Core in New Orleans & Louisiana
Common 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.

Download the infographic here.
Read and download the report and watch the video here.
2015-09Issue Briefs
The 2015 State of Public Education in New Orleans Report
Since its founding in 2007, the Cowen Institute at Tulane University has sought to chronicle and analyze the public education reforms underway in New Orleans. Annually, 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 also can be viewed through this interactive website that includes additional features not found in the print report. The most significant of these is a series of videos with sixteen influential education and political leaders. The Cowen Institute conducted interviews with these leaders and asked them to mark the ten-year anniversary by reflecting on the city’s education system before and after Hurricane Katrina. Another new feature is an interactive historical timeline that documents the evolution of education in New Orleans from 1718 to the present. Additionally, the site also contains a page that highlights what makes New Orleans unique, which highlights the key takeaways we hope you get from our report.
2015-06The State of Public Education in New Orleans
K-12 Public Education through the Public's Eye: Parents' and Adults' Perception of Public 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.
Click here to view the toplines or here to read the report.
2015-05Public Policy
Issue.Brief.02.WIOA.CoverIssue Briefs: Investing in Opportunity
The 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 is implemented, and investigates its effectiveness. Click here to read the report.
2015-05Issue Briefs
poicy_brief_no1_coverCowen Institute Issue Briefs: Charter Management Organizations in New Orleans
This brief examines charter management organizations (CMOs) in New Orleans. It analyzes their growth over time, why changes have occurred, and how CMOs impact the city’s education landscape. The brief found that since the 2006-2007 school year, the number of students attending schools within CMOs and the total number of CMOs have both increased significantly, which has had a significant impact on school governance and school boards.
2015-04Issue Briefs
Reconnecting Opportunity Youth 2015 Data Reference Guide
The Cowen Institute published its first data guide on opportunity youth in 2012 to provide policymakers, practitioners, and the general public with data on this unique population. This guide is a comprehensive examination of opportunity youth at the national, state, and metropolitan levels from a cost and demographic perspective.
2015-03Reconnecting Opportunity Youth
The Cowen Institute Governance and School Guide 2015-2016 School Year
The Cowen Institute Guide to Public Schools was created to provide a new way of navigating the ever-changing landscape of New Orleans schools. This guide provides three ways of exploring public schools. First, we have converted the Cowen Institute's school governance chart into an interactive tool. You can click on schools, charter management organizations, or authorizing bodies to learn more about the organization. The chart can also be filtered based on school performance, among other characteristics. Secondly, there is an interactive map, which can also be filtered based on a variety of school characteristics. Click on the school to learn more about it and also find links to map-based directions. Finally, there is an interactive table that allows you to download the school guides that are found in interactive governance chart.
2015-03Governance
NOLA by the Numbers: School Performance Scores, 2014
This report explains the 2013-14 SPS calculation, as well as changes in the grading scale associated with the transition to Common Core and higher standards. Unique contributions of the report include an analysis of New Orleans school performance over time relative to state performance, analyses of the components of elementary, middle school and high school performance scores including the types of diplomas with which students graduate, and OneApp geographic zones with average weighted SPS.
2014-11NOLA by the Numbers
2014-2015 School Governance Chart
Document outlining public school organization for the 2014-2015 academic year.
2014-09Governance
The 2014 State of Public Education in New Orleans Report
The 2013-14 school year marks the eighth full school year since the dramatic transformation of the public school system in New Orleans. Although structures and policies continue to evolve, the overarching reform mechanisms that were catalyzed by Hurricane Katrina and its subsequent flooding in 2005 continue to define the public education model. This report provides information about the current school system and its successes and challenges based on available quantitative data, media coverage, and conversations with school and district leaders.
You can access the report in two ways: as a PDF that you can download or by using our interactive website.
2014-07The State of Public Education in New Orleans
NOLA by the Numbers: LEAP and iLEAP Test Results, 2014
Each year, public school students in Louisiana participate in standardized testing. Students in 4th and 8th grade complete the Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP), while students in grades 3, 5, 6, and 7 participate in the “integrated” LEAP, or iLEAP. The assessments are intended to measure if a student has gained the necessary knowledge and skills in the subject for a students’ grade level. The assessments are used in school and district accountability and are administered in four subjects: English Language Arts (ELA), Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies.
2014-06NOLA by the Numbers
Voters' Perceptions: Public Education in New Orleans, Spring 2014
This is a report documenting the fifth poll conducted Cowen Institute that gauges opinions of public education in New Orleans. The May 2014 poll asked respondents about their general satisfaction with public education and opinions on taxes, governance, school choice, common standards and tests, and college and career readiness.
2014-06Public Policy
Spotlight on Choice: Voters' Perceptions of Public Education in New Orleans, Spring 2014
The Cowen Institute's fifth annual poll gauged the opinions of likely voters in New Orleans. The May 2014 poll asked respondents about their general satisfaction with public education and opinions on taxes, governance, school choice, common standards and tests, and college and career readiness.
2014-05Spotlight on Choice
Road Map to Success: FAFSA Completion in New Orleans, Louisiana, and the Nation
This report highlights the importance of overcoming obstacles that students and their families face, and provides students, parents, and school administrators the tools to succeed in their post-secondary endeavors.
2014-05Road Map to Success
High School Disconnection: Insights from the Inside
This research report explores high school disengagement through the voices of school administrators and staff, intermediary organization leaders, and youth in order to understand the root causes of youth disconnection and current practices and interventions targeting dropout prevention in New Orleans. Click here to view the Executive Summary, or here to view the full report.
2014-05Reconnecting Opportunity Youth
NOLA by the Numbers: School Enrollment and Demographics from October 2013
Each school year, the Louisiana Department of Education conducts two student enrollment counts on October 1st and February 1st that also document the race, gender, grade level, and free or reduced lunch eligibility status of students in grades pre-K to 12. The public school enrollment counts are used to determine how schools and districts receive funding from the state.
2014-03NOLA by the Numbers
2013-2014 School Governance Chart
Document outlining public school organization for the 2013-2014 academic year.
2013-12Governance
Major K-12 Education Bills and Resolutions of the 2012 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature
This spreadsheet reports on the 2013 education, student, and school-related bills considered in the Louisiana Legislature regular session. Each bill's number, date filed, author, status, and summary are provided. Bills are organized into the following categories: charter schools and choice, early childhood education, educator protections, rights, and Benefits, funding, and other.
2013-12Governance
NOLA by the Numbers: School Performance Scores, 2013
More students in New Orleans attend A, B, or C schools than before the storm. In 2013, 68 percent of public school students attended A, B, or C schools in Orleans Parish compared to only 17 percent in 2005, narrowing the gap between New Orleans and the state from 32 to 9 percentage points.
2013-11NOLA by the Numbers
The 2013 State of Public Education in New Orleans Report
The 2012-13 school year marks the seventh full school year since the dramatic transformation of the public school system following Hurricane Katrina. While policies and structures continue to evolve, the overarching reform mechanisms of school autonomy, parental choice, and accountability delineate the unique public education model in New Orleans. This report provides information about the current school system and its successes and challenges based on available quantitative data, media coverage, and conversations with school and district leaders. Click here to view the Power Point Presentation. Click here to view the full report.
2013-07The State of Public Education in New Orleans
2013 New Orleans Public Education Facilities Update
In 2005, 80 percent of New Orleans was flooded and most of the school buildings damaged or destroyed. This report accounts the progress in re-building, renovating, and refurbishing public school facilities in the city, updating costs, budgets, and anticipated funding for the remainder of the work in the School Facilities Master Plan (SFMP). The purpose of the report to give the community a current look at the accomplishments and challenges in this colossal and crucial public works project.
2013-06Applied Research
K-12 Public Education through the PublicŠ—'s Eye: VotersŠ—' Perception of Public Education in 2013
This is the fourth year the Cowen Institute has provided the community a platform to express their opinions about public education. This poll surveyed New OrleansŠ—' votersŠ—' opinions of the cityŠ—'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.
2013-04Applied Research
Spotlight on Choice: K-12 Public Education through the Public Eye: Voters' Perception of Public Education
The Cowen Institute's fourth annual public opinion poll 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.
2013-04Spotlight on Choice
Spotlight cover - final_Page_1Spotlight on Choice: Parent Opinions on School Selection in New Orleans
In a series of focus groups on schools choice, the Cowen Institute collected feedback on the school selection process from over 80 families in New Orleans. This report evaluates the effectiveness of school choice as a successful reform strategy. Due to limited seats at high quality schools and a complicated application process, the findings indicate that school choice is currently inadequate in providing all families with access to the best schools.
2013-01Spotlight on Choice
New Orleans by the Numbers: ACT Scores, Class of 2012
The Class of 2012 ACT scores illustrate that scores in New Orleans are improving at a faster rate than the state and national scores. Beginning with the graduating class of 2013, all 11th grade students will be required to take the ACT. This measure will greatly impact many New Orleans schools and ensure a critical step towards college-readiness.
2012-12NOLA by the Numbers
LouisianaŠ—'s Minimum Foundation Program Formula: Analyzing the Results
The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) annually develops a Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) funding formula for education in all public elementary and secondary schools. The MFP formula accounts for student needs, wealth inequalities, and rewards for local tax effort. This policy brief analyzes the outcomes of the formula based on how well the goals of the formula are achieved.
2012-12Public Policy
NOLA by the Numbers: School Performance Scores, 2012
Of the 67 New Orleans schools with both 2011 and 2012 scores, 49 schools made progress and 46 (nearly 70 percent) were designated top gains schools, meaning they met their state-determined growth target for 2012. By comparison, 35 percent of schools across the state were top gains schools. Both the OPSB and the RSD-NO made significant gains in their school performance scores from 2011 to 2012, though changes in the calculations, particularly at the high school level, make it difficult to interpret the overall trends.
2012-11NOLA by the Numbers
2012-2013 School Governance Chart
Document outlining public school organization for the 2012-2013 academic year.
2012-10Governance
The 2012 State of Public Education in New Orleans Report
In many ways, the 2011-12 school year was the beginning of a new era in New OrleansŠ—' public education. The year was marked by momentous changes in leadership and strategy at both the state and local levels. This report provides information about the current school systems based on available quantitative data, newspaper stories and interviews, and a comprehensive survey of New Orleans public school parents. This report also offers a number of successes as well as key challenges in public education in New Orleans.
2012-07The State of Public Education in New Orleans
Reconnecting Opportunity Youth: Data Reference Guide
This reference guide presents a snapshot of the impact of Opportunity Youth
at the national, state, and metropolitan levels and includes the educational, socioeconomic, and demographic risk factors associated with Opportunity Youth. Due to their disconnection, data regarding the Opportunity Youth population is not readily available; the data included in this booklet comes from a variety of sources.
2012-05Reconnecting Opportunity Youth
Education Pathways
Disconnected youth lack the credentials (high school diploma, GED, technical or postsecondary education) and social networks that can help them establish productive lives. This paper examines promising multi-sector strategies that have shown early signs of success in addressing the issue of Opportunity Youth, including multi-sector approaches that link education to social services, mental health services, employment, and job training.
2012-04Reconnecting Opportunity Youth
Private Schools and Choice: The Student Scholarships for Education Excellence Pilot Program in Orleans Parish
Since 2008, a publicly-funded private school voucher pilot program in New Orleans has provided nearly 2,000 students from low and moderate income families a scholarship to attend a private or parochial school. This research brief, part of our ongoing Spotlight on Choice project, provides an overview of the New Orleans voucher pilot program and its impact on academic achievement and access to quality schools for all children. Click here to view the briefing.
2012-04Spotlight on Choice
The 2012 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report: Charter Schools and Choice
This section of the 2012 State of Public Education in Louisiana provides an overview of charter schools in the state: what they are, their governance structure, location, and student demographics. It also presents information about the Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence pilot program, including voucher information and performance results.
2012-03The State of Public Education in Louisiana
The 2012 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report: Facilities
This section of the 2012 State of Public Education in Louisiana includes information on spending on school facilities both in Louisiana and across the country, as well as an overview of LouisianaŠ—'s school facilities needs.
2012-03The State of Public Education in Louisiana
The 2012 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report: the Recovery School District
This section of the 2012 State of Public Education in Louisiana includes an explanation of the role of the Recovery School District (RSD) in Louisiana, as well as its performance in New Orleans.
2012-03The State of Public Education in Louisiana
The 2012 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report: Race to the Top
This section of the 2012 State of Public Education in Louisiana includes information about LouisianaŠ—'s participation in the federal Race to the Top competitive grant competition.
2012-03The State of Public Education in Louisiana
The 2012 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report
This annual report explores and discusses various characteristics of Louisiana PK-12 Education System including: Governance, Demographics, Enrollment, Performance, Funding, Race to the Top, Facilities, Recovery School District, and Charter Schools and Choice. Click here to download the full report.
2012-03The State of Public Education in Louisiana
The 2012 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report: Governance, Demographics, & Enrollment
This section of the 2012 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report includes information on local and state governance, 2011-2012 student demographics, and student enrollment data. It also highlights the governance structure in Orleans Parish and contains the report cover and Table of Contents.
2012-03The State of Public Education in Louisiana
The 2012 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report: Funding
This section of the 2012 State of Public Education in Louisiana includes information on the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP), a comparison of local and state funding by parish, an explanation of the funding structure for public schools, and comparison of school funding in Louisiana to the rest of the country.
2012-03The State of Public Education in Louisiana
The 2012 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report: Performance
This section of the 2012 State of Public Education in Louisiana includes information on school performance scores (SPS) and how LouisianaŠ—'s public education compares on a national standardized scale. It also provides information on the achievement gap in state education and suggests a relationship between poverty and student achievement in Louisiana. Its last component reports on college and career readiness in Louisiana and compares it to a national scale.
2012-03The State of Public Education in Louisiana
NOLA by the Numbers: First-Time College Freshmen, Class of 2010
The Louisiana Department of Education annually releases data on public high school graduates who enrolled as full-time college freshmen at a Louisiana two- or four-year, private or public college in the fall after graduating. Two-thirds of all New Orleans public school in-state first-time college freshmen enrolled in a four-year college or university, compared to three-quarters statewide.
2012-01NOLA by the Numbers
2011-2012 School Governance Chart
Document outlining public school organization for the 2011-2012 academic year.
2012-01Governance
NOLA by the Numbers: School Enrollment & Demographics, October 2011
This report focuses on the second public school student enrollment count compiled by the Louisiana Department of Education this school year. According to the October 1, 2011 enrollment and demographic data, 77 percent of public schools students in New Orleans are enrolled in a charter school, up from 71 percent in 2010.
2011-12NOLA by the Numbers
K-12 Public Education through the Public Eye: ParentsŠ—È Perceptions of School Choice (2011)
The Cowen InstituteŠ—'s third annual public opinion poll surveyed parents of students in New Orleans public schools to asses their experiences in the open enrollment system and their perceptions of the availability of information on public schools and public school options. The poll is a part of our ongoing Spotlight on Choice project. For more key findings and to download our analysis of the survey results, click here.
2011-12Spotlight on Choice
Transforming Public Education in New Orleans: The Recovery
School District

This report analyzes some of the issues and policies that have defined the RSD over the past eight years. It also examines the contextual conditions in which the community acts in order to engage, restructure, and ensure sustainability in public education. The report concludes by discussing the continuing role of state intervention and highlighting the issues currently facing the RSD in New Orleans. Click here for the executive summary. Click here for the full report.
2011-12History
Returning Schools to Local Control: The Recovery School District Return Policy and Its Implications
In December 2011, individual public schools in New Orleans had the choice of staying within the jurisdiction of the state-run Recovery School District (RSD) or returning to the jurisdiction of the local Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB). It is necessary to have a full understanding of the BESE return policy, the RSD and OPSB processes, and their implications in order to understand the impact of these schoolsŠ—' decisions. This report analyzes key issues that impact schools, the RSD, the OPSB, and the community, and provides recommendations for how the policy and its implementation can be improved.
2011-12Public Policy
New York City School Choice and Enrollment Case Study
The New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE), part of city government, operates the largest school district in the country. New York City public schools have a history of voluntary school choice options for a variety of school settings. However, since 2004 the NYC DOE has required all 8th graders to participate in a system of high school choice. This report explores admission process and impact of mandatory school choice.
2011-11Spotlight on Choice
Case Studies of Choice and Open Enrollment in Four Cities
In the past, school districts in Cambridge, San Diego, and New York City have instituted district-wide open enrollment systems, mandatory and/or voluntary, for elementary and/or high school grades, similar to New Orleans. This research briefing, part of our Spotlight on Choice project, presents four case studies presents four case studies New Orleans, Cambridge, San Diego, and New York City that review the open enrollment policies and systems examining how the systems operate and the impact they have on students and families. Click here to download the full briefing.
2011-11Spotlight on Choice
San Diego School Choice and Enrollment Case Study
The San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) offers a voluntary choice program. Students in this district are still assigned neighborhood schools, but they may apply to alternative schools outside of their residence zones through the open enrollment program. SDUSD developed this school choice program in compliance with a state education legislation that was introduced in 1993 legislation that intended give low-achieving and low-income students the opportunity to attend schools outside of their residence zones.
2011-11Spotlight on Choice
Cambridge School Choice and Enrollment Case Study
Cambridge is a small, racially and socioeconomically diverse urban community outside of Boston, Massachusetts. In 1979, the CPSD became the first district in the nation to institute a policy of complete open enrollment, called the Controlled Choice Plan. The purpose of the plan was to desegregate the district and featured a voluntary parental choice in its pilot years.
2011-11Spotlight on Choice
New Orleans School Choice and Enrollment Case Study
New OrleansŠ—' policy of open enrollment for public schools became a necessity as flooding damaged residential areas and displaced families from access to schools all over the city. The system of citywide open enrollment continues today for students of Orleans Parish. However, the effectiveness and efficiency of open enrollment depends on a decentralized system featuring a multi-district governance model, where no single entity is responsible for managing the enrollment process, assigning students to schools, managing lotteries and waitlists, or providing information to parents.
2011-11Spotlight on Choice
NOLA by the Numbers: School Performance Scores, 2011
The 2011 School Performance Scores revealed that public schools in New Orleans have continued their post-Katrina trajectory, improving steadily each year. On average, schools in New Orleans grew 7.7 points, or 9.7 percent, from 2010 to 2011, more than three times the state average of 2.2 points or 2.4 percent. Additionally, this year marks the first time the state has issued letter grades instead of performance labels as it has done in the past. Twenty-eight percent of public schools in New Orleans that received a 2011 School Performance Score received an F, while 24 percent received an A or B.
2011-10NOLA by the Numbers
NOLA by the Numbers: ACT Scores, Class of 2011
The Louisiana Department of Education releases annually the average composite, English, mathematics, reading, and science reasoning American College Test (ACT) scores at both the district and school levels. The ACT, which students generally take in the 11th or 12th grade, is intended to measure students' general educational development and their capability to complete college-level work. College entrance exams such as the ACT are required for admissions to most two- and four-year colleges and universities in the state. Scores range from 1-36. The 2011 average ACT composite score for all public school students in New Orleans was 18.0, an increase of 0.5 points from 2010.
2011-09NOLA by the Numbers
A Look at School-By-School Finances in New Orleans, 2009-2010: An Addendum to the March 2011 State of Public Education in New Orleans School Finances Report
This report provides an overview of charter school revenues in New Orleans and analyzes how those revenues were allocated and spent in the 2009-2010 school year. Based on the New Orleans financial data released in May 2011 by the Louisiana Department of Education, this report examines school-level expenditures for all schools and school types, including non-charters, and further develops a picture of the financial status of public schools in New Orleans.
2011-09The State of Public Education in New Orleans
NOLA by the Numbers: First-Time College Freshmen, Class of 2009
The Louisiana Department of Education annually releases data on public high school graduates who enrolled as full-time college freshmen at a Louisiana two- or four-year, private or public college in the fall after graduating. Overall, 46 percent of New Orleans public high school graduates in the class of 2009 were first-time college freshmen in the fall of 2009, and 55 percent took one or more remedial course.
2011-08NOLA by the Numbers
The 2011 State of Public Education in New Orleans Report
The 2011 State of Public Education in New Orleans Report acts as a reference guide for journalists, policymakers, community leaders, and the public. It provides context and the latest informational data about governance, enrollment, performance, facilities, finances, funding, and human capital in the complicated public education system of New Orleans.
2011-07The State of Public Education in New Orleans
The 2011 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report: the Recovery School District
This supplement to the 2011 State of Public Education in Louisiana report provides additional information about the Recovery School District (RSD), including how schools become eligible for takeover, what happens once a school is found eligible, and the RSDŠ—'s role, performance, and accountability in New Orleans.
2011-05The State of Public Education in Louisiana
NOLA by the Numbers: High-Stakes Testing, 2010-2011
This report focuses on New Orleans public school performance on the LEAP and GEE tests for the 2010-2011 school year. Overall, the rate of first time test-takers scoring Basic or above at all public schools in New Orleans grew from 2010 to 2011 in every subject and every grade, and in all but one instance these gains were greater than gains made by the state as a whole.
2011-05NOLA by the Numbers
The 2011 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report: Charter Schools
This section of The 2011 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report provides an overview of charter schools in the state--what they are, their governance structure, location, and student demographics.
2011-04The State of Public Education in Louisiana
The 2011 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report: Facilities
This section of The 2011 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report includes information on spending on school facilities both in Louisiana and across the country, as well as an overview of LouisianaŠ—'s school facilities needs.
2011-04The State of Public Education in Louisiana
The 2011 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report
This report provides information about the stateŠ—'s public education sector in 2011, including: The Recovery School District, Governance, Demographics, and Enrollment, Public School Funding, Charter Schools, Public School Performance, and Facilities. Click here to view the full report.
2011-04The State of Public Education in Louisiana
The 2011 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report: the Recovery School District
This section of The 2011 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report includes an explanation of the role of the Recovery School District (RSD) in Louisiana, as well as its performance in New Orleans.
2011-04The State of Public Education in Louisiana
Public Education Data Transparency and Accessibility in New
Orleans and Louisiana

This paper explores the importance of making data more readily available to stakeholders as well as discuss what other states and districts across the nation are doing to address similar challenges. We also examine the state of data transparency and accessibility in New Orleans and Louisiana and make recommendations for improvement. Click here to download the briefing.
2011-04Governance
The 2011 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report: Governance, Demographics, and Enrollment
This portion of The 2011 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report provides visual tools to explain the structure of public education legislature in Louisiana and the structure of public education governance in Orleans parish. It also provides information on the demographics of student population in the state based on ethnicity and eligibility to receive free and reduced lunch. Lastly, it compares charter school enrollment to public, private, and parochial school enrollment.
2011-04The State of Public Education in Louisiana

The 2011 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report: Public School Funding
This section of The 2011 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report includes detailed information on the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP), including the local and state shares and an explanation of the funding structure for public schools in general and in the Recovery School District. It also provides a comparison of school funding across Louisiana districts and between Louisiana and the rest of the country.
2011-04The State of Public Education in Louisiana

The 2011 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report: Public School Performance
This section of The 2011 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report includes information on school performance scores (SPS), how Louisiana compares to other states and other countries, and information on the achievement gap in the state.
2011-04The State of Public Education in Louisiana
NOLA by the Numbers: School Enrollment & Demographics, February 2011
This report focuses on the second public school student enrollment count compiled by the Louisiana Department of Education this school year. The February 1, 2011 enrollment and demographic data shows little change from the October 1, 2010 student count with one exception: at Recovery School District direct_run schools, the proportion of low_income students increased by nearly 15 percentage points.
2011-03NOLA by the Numbers
2010-2011 School Governance Chart
Document outlining public school organization for the 2010-2011 academic year.
2011-03Governance
The 2011 State of Public Education in New Orleans Report: School Finances
This paper describes the financial circumstances of public schools in New Orleans by providing a Š—“birdŠ—'s eyeŠ— view of revenues and expenditures, and addresses the issues associated with a multi-district system of schools. As one-time federal funds are expended and philanthropic dollars are increasingly scarce, it is imperative that parents, educators, policymakers, and taxpayers understand how money is being spent to ensure the greatest return on investment.
2011-03The State of Public Education in New Orleans
NOLA by the Numbers: ACT Scores, Class of 2010
The Louisiana Department of Education releases annually the average composite, English, mathematics, reading, and science reasoning American College Test (ACT) scores at both the district and school levels. The ACT, which students generally take in the 11th or 12th grade, is intended to measure studentsÕ general educational development and their capability to complete college-level work. College entrance exams such as the ACT are required for admissions to most two- and four-year colleges and universities in the state. The class of 2010 showed improvement at Recovery School District high schools.
2011-02NOLA by the Numbers
Top K-12 Education-related Bills and Resolutions
This spreadsheet lists the top K-12 education bills to watch during the 2011 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature. The bills are organized into the following categories: Accountability, BESE Membership, Charter Schools, the Recovery School District, the Teachers' Retirement System of Louisiana, and Other. Bill number, author, status, and summary are provided for each bill.
2011-01Governance
All 2011 Education-related Bills
The Louisiana Legislature convenes at noon on April 25, 2011 for its regular, fiscal-only session. This spreadsheet lists the summaries of education, school and student related prefiled bills that will be considered during the April 25, 2011 fiscal session of the Louisiana legislature. It includes the bill number, date filed, authors, status, and summary of the bill. The spreadsheet was last updated July 15, 2011.
2011-01Governance
The 2010 State of Public Education in New Orleans: School Facilities Report
In this publication, the Cowen Institute provides details and highlights issues related to the School Facilities Master Plan for Orleans Parish, a $2 billion blueprint to build and renovate schools across the city. In addition, we consider the road ahead, including potential speed bumps, with school building assignments, funding for facility maintenance, and cost estimate adjustments. Finally, we present our recommendations for policies and practices to ensure that every child in New Orleans attends school in a state-of-the-art facility. Click here to download the report.
2010-12The State of Public Education in New Orleans
NOLA by the Numbers: School Enrollment & Demographics, October 2010
Each school year, the Louisiana Department of Education conducts two student enrollment counts: on October 1st and February 1st. These counts also document the race, sex, grade level, and free and reduced lunch eligibility status of students. The enrollment counts are particularly important because they are used to determine the amount of funding schools and districts receive from the state. The October 2010 enrollment count shows that public schools in New Orleans are generally continuing along in their post-Katrina trajectory.
2010-12NOLA by the Numbers
K-12 Public Education through the PublicŠ—'s Eye: A Survey of the New Orleans Community (2010)
InŠ— DecemberŠ— 2010, theŠ— BoardŠ— ofŠ— ElementaryŠ— andŠ— SecondaryŠ— EducationŠ— (BESE)Š— willŠ— voteŠ— onŠ— aŠ— planŠ— thatŠ— wouldŠ— allowŠ— schoolsŠ— meetingŠ— certain requirements to whether to return to governance under the Orleans Parish School Board, or to remain under the governance of the Recovery School District. As this decision draws closer, giving aŠ— voiceŠ— toŠ— citizensŠ— isŠ— crucialŠ— to creating and sustaining positive change; this report provides the result of the second annual public opinion poll conducted by the Cowen Institute on public school performance.
2010-11Governance
Surveying the Public High School Landscape in New Orleans
This report presents a detailed assessment of the current state of public high schools in New Orleans and the extent to which they are preparing our students for college and careers. It serves as a tool for education leaders, families, community members, and other stakeholders and examines graduation rates, the percentage of students passing graduate exit exams, and the state-determined School Performance Scores in order to evaluate the performance of high schools in New Orleans today.
2010-10The State of Public Education in New Orleans
An Analysis of the Recommendation Concerning the Transfer of RSD Schools to Local Control
On September 14, 2010, State Superintendent Paul Pastorek and Recovery School District (RSD) Superintendent Paul Vallas presented their recommendation for a process to transfer RSD schools back to local control. The recommendation presented by the superintendents is a multi-faceted document with many different conditions that would govern the decision about whether to return or retain schools. Whatever BESE's final decision is, it will have significant implications for public schools in New Orleans for years to come. Given the detailed nature of the recommendation and the importance of BESE's decision, the Cowen Institute felt that it is crucial that all aspects be examined carefully so that revisions can be made where appropriate. This position paper reflects our thoughts about the aspects of the recommendation that we believe need further consideration and possible revision. The first section of the paper presents a short summary of the recommendation. The second section analyzes key aspects of the recommendation and includes Cowen Institute recommendations related to each key aspect.
2010-10Public Policy
NOLA by the Numbers: School Performance Scores, 2010
The 2010 baseline School Performance Scores (SPS), released by the Louisiana Department of Education in October 2010, are used as a measure of absolute school performance and as a means of calculating academic growth. This year's scores show that, once again, elementary and secondary public schools in New Orleans are among the fastest improving in the state, with the number of schools rated academically unacceptable down to 18 from 31 last year. This briefing presents an analysis of the 2010 SPS scores and how they compare to previous years.
2010-10NOLA by the Numbers
The Law, Policy, and Procedures for BESE-Authorized Charter School Extensions, Renewals, and Revocations
Based on information from the Louisiana Department of Education, the Cowen Institute released an informational report about the law, policy, and procedures for charter school extensions, renewals, and revocations. The report outlines the policies of the state of Louisiana in addition to the various BESE policies including the Year Three Review and Extension Process, the Year Five Renewal or NonΌrenewal Process, and the BESE Policy on Charter Revocation.
2010-08Governance
The Law, Policy, and Procedures Governing the Oversight and Review of BESE Authorized Charter Schools
Based on information from the Louisiana Department of Education, the Cowen Institute released an informational report about the law, policy, and procedures for the oversight and review of BESE authorized charter schools, outlining the policies of the state of Louisiana, BESE, and the Charter School Office. The information and data collected through these processes is vital for the authorizer to make quality, factŠ—based decisions about the extension, renewal, or revocation of a charter.
2010-08Governance
The Law, Policy, and Procedures for the Charter School Application Process
Based on information from the Louisiana Department of Education, the Cowen Institute released an informational report about the law, policy, and procedures for the charter school application process. The report outlines the application process based on Louisiana law, BESE policy, and the Charter School Office (CSO) procedures. In addition, it summarizes the eligibility requirements by charter type.
2010-08Governance
The Law, Policy, and Procedures for Charter School Contract Drafting and Closure Procedures
In this informational report, the Louisiana Department of EducationŠ—'s Charter Schools Office and the Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives review Louisiana law and BESE policies on the drafting of the charter school contract for stateŠ—authorized charter schools based on Louisiana state law and the BESE policies.
2010-08Governance
Decision Time: Questions and Answers About The Return of Schools to Local Control
This brief reviews the law regarding the process for returning Recovery School District schools to local control, describes areas that need clarification, and highlights what the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has to do over the months leading up to their final decision.
2010-08Public Policy
Louisiana Charter School Authorizer Excellence Project
The Office of Parental Options (OPO) at the Louisiana Department of Education (LDE) held a conference that gathered national experts and local leaders in charter authorizing and the charter school movement to consider ways to improve state laws and policies governing the charter authorizing process. This report, written in collaboration with the Office of Parental Options at the Louisiana Department of Education, documents the topics discussed at the conference, including strengths and weaknesses, recommendations for changes to policy or law, and remaining questions. Click here for the presentation, and here to download the paper.
2010-08Governance
The 2010 State of Public Education in New Orleans:
Five Years After Hurricane Katrina

In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina created billions of dollars worth of damage to public and private property and displaced the entire cityŠ—'s population. The hurricane also changed the political landscape of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana, allowing different group to push for change. This change resonated with the critical push for public school reform for New Orleans, one of the lowest performing school districts in the country. This report provides journalists, policymakers, community leaders, and the public with information, context, and thoughtful analyses about the reform efforts that have taken place in the K-12 public education system in the five years since the storm.
2010-07The State of Public Education in New Orleans
School Siting - Facilities Recommendations for Local School Districts
The Cowen Institute and the Center for Urban and Public Affairs at the University of New Orleans hosted a summit on school siting to help people think more holistically about school siting because many interests can be served at once by good siting decisions. This summit was part of a grant under the Helping Johnny Walk to School: Sustaining Communities through Smart School Policy program.
2010-07Public Policy
A Close Look at the 2010 LEAP Scores and Their Gains and Declines Over Time
This brief examines the 2009-2010 test scores and considers how they compare to the previous year and to 2007, the first full school year after Hurricane Katrina.
2010-06Public Policy
Managing Innovation: Models for Governing the System of Public Schools in New Orleans
The public school reform movement in New Orleans is driven by the state takeover of most public schools and an explosion in the number of public charter schools; as a result, new challenges are created and a new approach to education governance is required. In this report, the Cowen Institute and the Bureau of Governmental Research (BGR) collaborate and present five potential models for governing public schools in New Orleans.
2010-06Governance
Ensuring Transparency & Accountability in the Charter School Renewal Process
In 2010, BESE will evaluate and consider the renewal of Type 5 charter schools (the low-performing schools taken over by the Recovery School District and chartered by BESE) for the first time. This report reviews national best practices and compares LouisianaŠ—'s laws and policies to what well-respected national organizations recommend. It also describes the current yearŠ—'s renewal policies and offers observations about the implementation of BESEŠ—'s policies. Suggestions for the improvement of the charter school renewal process are also provided.
2010-06Governance
The 2010 State of Public Education in Louisiana: Charter School Facilities
This section of the 2010 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report is designed to give you a clear picture of charter schools in the state Š—– what they are, their governance structure, location, and student demographics. It includes information on state spending on school facilities, facilities construction expenditures per student, and the stateŠ—'s school facilities needs.
2010-03The State of Public Education in Louisiana
The 2010 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report: Public School Funding
This section of the 2010 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report includes detailed information on the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP), including local and state share and an explanation of the funding structure for public schools. It also contains a section on the education provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
2010-03The State of Public Education in Louisiana
The 2010 State of Public Education in New Orleans Report
In addition to explaining how the current system emerged after Hurricane Katrina, the report gives detailed information on student demographics, school facilities, school finances, school choice and human capital. It provides detailed student achievement data by school and survey results from a recent public opinion poll on school governance. The report shows successes that schools have achieved over the past two years as well as key challenges of public education in New Orleans. To download the excutive summary, click here. To download the full report, click here.
2010-03The State of Public Education in New Orleans
Performance and Demographics of Public Schools in New Orleans
This document is comprised of a series of graphs representing School Performance Labels, LEAP, iLEAP, and GEE performance, and demographic information for public schools in New Orleans.
2010-03Public Policy
The 2010 State of Public Education in Louisiana: Public School Performance
This section of the 2010 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report includes information on school performance scores (SPS), how Louisiana compares to other states and other countries, and information on poverty and student achievement in the state.
2010-03The State of Public Education in Louisiana
The 2010 State of Public Education in Louisiana: the Recovery School District
This section of the 2010 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report includes an explanation of the role of the Recovery School District (RSD), as well as its performance in New Orleans.
2010-03The State of Public Education in Louisiana
Louisiana Education Funding and the Southern Regional Average
During the 2010 Regular Legislative Session, the Cowen Institute policy team testified in front of the Senate Finance Committee in support of Senate Concurrent Resolution 20 to increase baseline funding for schools by 2.75%. The Cowen Institute also made a similar presentation to the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) at the August 2010 board meeting.
2010-02Public Policy
2010 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature: Top Education Bills
This policy brief summarizes the top education, school and student-related bills that were considered at the June 28, 2010 regular session of the Louisiana Legislature. It provides bill number, author, purpose, history, and status.
2010-01Governance
Defining the Role of City Hall in K-12 Public Education in New Orleans
This report outlines the role of the mayor in impacting social policies that currently affect public education in New Orleans. The report specifically urges the mayoral governance to positively influence the public education sector by: coordinating the New Orleans Master Plan with the School Facilities Master Plan, enforcing truancy laws to get school-aged children off the streets and back in school, and supporting the principles in the Š—“10 for 2010Š— campaign for youth that is led by the Afterschool Partnership.
2010-01With a mayoral election on the horizon, New Orleans is looking ahead to its next political chapter and a new stage in its recovery and development. Public education remains a critical element of our progress, yet the system is still deeply in flux and in need of sustainable, transformative leadership. The system of public schools operates independently of the mayorŠ—Ès office; instead it is collectively run by the Orleans Parish School Board, the Recovery School District, individual charter boards, and the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The Scott S. Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives at Tulane University (Š—“Cowen InstituteŠ—) is often asked what role and authority the Mayor of New Orleans actually wields in our cityŠ—Ès public education landscape. Through the mayorŠ—Ès various official powers as well as his/her political influence, he or she can actually do quite a lot to impact education and foster positive development for our cityŠ—Ès children, families, and communities. The mayor has authority in several areas that directly affect our children, including crime prevention, social services, playgrounds, and economic development. The mayor can also use his/her political capital to serve as a champion for our youth and advocate for their best interests while being impartial among the various school governing bodies.

Specifically, the Mayor of New Orleans can do the following:

Š—¢ Coordinate the New Orleans Master Plan with the School Facilities Master Plan

Š—¢ Enforce truancy laws to get school-aged children off the streets and back into schools

Š—¢ Support the recommendations made by the Afterschool Partnership to support youth
Governance
2010 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature: Summary of Education Bills
This policy brief summarizes education, school and student-related bills that were considered at the March 29, 2010 regular session of the Louisiana Legislature.
2010-01Governance
2010 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature: Summary of Education Resolutions
This policy brief summarizes education, school and student-related bills that were considered at the March 29, 2010 regular session of the Louisiana Legislature, and provides the resolutions of the bills.
2010-01All education-related resolutions for 2010 legislation session.

During each session of the Louisiana Legislature, the Cowen Institute tracks all education-related bills and resolutions from their introduction in the legislature to their final disposition at the end of the session. Every week in our Legislative Update email we publish each instrument and its author, date filed, status in the legislative process, and a brief summary.
Governance
K-12 Public Education through the PublicŠ—'s Eye: A Survey of the New Orleans Community (2010)
As part of the Cowen InstituteŠ—'s work on informing the educational transformation that is taking place in New Orleans, providing the community a voice is crucial to sustaining positive change. This report documents the second annual public opinion poll that surveyed New Orleans voters about recent public education reforms and the future direction of public schools in New Orleans. For more information on this opinion poll including full voter survey results, please click here.
2009-12Surveys
Creating a Governing Framework for Public Education in New Orleans:
Charter School Authorizers and Charter School Governance

As part of the series of reports on Creating a Governing Framework for Public Education in New Orleans, this report focuses on the history and overall structure of school district political leadership. It notes the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the various local and elected school boards. The report also explains mayoral and state control of schools and its involvement in school takeovers. Lastly, it provides lessons for New Orleans.
2009-11Governance
Creating a Governing Framework for Public Education in New Orleans:
The Central Office and the School

As part of the series reports on Creating a Governing Framework for Public Education in New Orleans, this report focuses on the history and overall structure of the Central Office and the School. It explains the relationship between the two, as well as the differences between centralization and decentralization in school districts. It provides lessons for New Orleans at the end of the report.
2009-11Governance
Creating a Governing Framework for Public Education in New Orleans
The Creating a Governing Framework for Public Education in New Orleans series includes reports on Charter School Authorizers and Charter School Governance, The Central Office and the School, and School District Political Leadership. The series looks at governing framework options for all public schools in New Orleans and specifies options for the roles and responsibilities for all governing entities in public education. Because the Recovery School District must recommend whether schools it took over after Katrina should return to local control in 2010, the citizens of New Orleans must consider the long-term structure that will ensure access to a high-performing public school for every child. Click here to read the executive summary.
2009-11Governance
Creating a Governing Framework for Public Education in New Orleans:
School District Political Leadership

As part of the series reports on Creating a Governing Framework for Public Education in New Orleans, this report focuses on the history and overall structure of school district political leadership. It notes the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the various local and elected school boards. The report also explains mayoral and state control of schools and its involvement in school takeovers. Lastly, it provides lessons for New Orleans.
2009-10Governance
2009-2010 School Governance Chart
Powerpoint file outlining public school organization for the 2009-2010 academic year.
2009-08Governance
The 2009 State of Public Education in Louisiana: Charter Schools
This section of The 2009 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report is designed to give you a clear picture of charter schools in the stateŠ—–-what they are, their governance structure, location, and student demographics.
2009-04This section is designed to give you a clear picture of charter schools in the state Š—– what they are, their governance structure, location, and student demographics.
The State of Public Education in Louisiana
The 2009 State of Public Education in Louisiana: Public Funding
This section of The 2009 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report includes detailed information on the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP), including local and state share and an explanation of the funding structure for public schools.
2009-04This section includes detailed information on the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP), including local and state share and an explanation of the funding structure for public schools.
The State of Public Education in Louisiana
The 2009 State of Public Education in Louisiana: Public School Performance
This section of The 2009 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report includes information on school performance scores (SPS), how Louisiana compares to other states and other countries, and information on poverty and student achievement in the state.
2009-04This section includes information on school performance scores (SPS), how Louisiana compares to other states and other countries, and information on poverty and student achievement in the state.The State of Public Education in Louisiana
Louisiana Public School Funding
This paper provides a brief overview of the funding streams for public schools in New Orleans and Louisiana.
2009-04Public Policy
The 2009 State of Public Education in Louisiana: Public School Facilities
This section of The 2009 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report includes information on state spending on school facilities, facilities construction expenditures per student, and the stateŠ—'s school facilities needs.
2009-04This section includes information on state spending on school facilities, facilities construction expenditures per student, and the stateŠ—Ès school facilities needs.The State of Public Education in Louisiana
The 2009 State of Public Education in Louisiana: the Recovery School District
This section of The 2009 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report includes an explanation of the role of the Recovery School District (RSD), as well as its performance in New Orleans.
2009-04This section includes an explanation of the role of the Recovery School District (RSD), as well as its performance in New Orleans.The State of Public Education in Louisiana
The 2009 State of Public Education in Louisiana: Governance, Demographics, and Enrollment
This section of The 2009 State of Public Education in Louisiana Report includes information on local and state governance, 2008-09 student demographics, and student enrollment data. It also highlights the organizational structure in Orleans Parish.
2009-04This section of the report includes information on local and state governance, 2008-09 student demographics, and student enrollment data. It also highlights the organizational structure in Orleans Parish.
The State of Public Education in Louisiana
Public Education in New Orleans:
A Financial Analysis

This financial report identifies the financial context and challenges faced by individual school operators and the two school districts in New Orleans. It traces the sources of revenue that support public education in New Orleans and analyzes how it has been allocated and spent. Based on the information contained in this report, the Cowen Institute offers a number of recommendations to improve budget and financial accountability.
2009-02
The 2009 State of Public Education in New Orleans Addendum Executive Summary
This report is a supplement to the 2008 State of Public Education in New Orleans Report. It showcases public school performance in New Orleans by its district performance score (DPS), a sum generated by a variety of state standardized tests and other indicators. It describes the challenges of this test, including the population changes due to Hurricane Katrina and the different school contexts in the district. It demonstrates the average differences between charter and traditional schools, and also compares state, national, and international academic rankings for New Orleans and Louisiana.
2009-01The State of Public Education in New Orleans
Public School Performance in New Orleans: A Supplement to the 2008 State of Public Education in New Orleans Report, Part 1
Chapter One of the 2008 Supplementary Public School Performance in New Orleans Report discusses an overview of the school accountability in the United States, including a timeline of federal education accountability initiatives, an overview of the No Child Left Behind Act, and standardized testing. It discusses the same criteria for Louisiana, and offers pros and cons for the current system.
2009-01The State of Public Education in New Orleans
The 2008 State of Public Education in New Orleans Report
This report features updated data from focus groups, surveys and interviews held with teachers, students, parents, and principals, focusing on these stakeholdersŠ—È needs within the current system and their desires for the future. The report notes the successes of the prior year, including stronger leadership, improved facilities, and increased community involvement, and notes the remaining challenges, including poor coordination among schools and districts and the lack of timely and accessible school information for families. Click here to view the Executive Summary and here to view the full report.
2008-04The State of Public Education in New Orleans
Public School Performance in New Orleans: A Supplement to the 2008 State of Public Education in New Orleans Report, Part 2
Chapter Two of the 2008 Supplementary Public School Performance in New Orleans Report compares district performance scores for all schools in New Orleans as well as compares their growth by school type. In addition, it examines the relationships between school performance schools in New Orleans by the percentage of students with disabilities and changes in school enrollment. While schools in New Orleans appear to be improving in general, the report concludes that more information is needed to understand the causes of improvement and the best reform models and practices.
2008-01The State of Public Education in New Orleans
The 2007 State of Public Education in New Orleans Report
This report details the history of the public school system in New Orleans through August 2005 and describes the new model of public education governance in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. It features data from focus groups, surveys and interviews held with a multitude of teachers, students, parents, and principals that focuses on these stakeholdersŠ—È needs within the current system and their desires for the future. The report concludes with a set of concrete recommendations to improve the current state of public education in New Orleans immediately.
2007-04The State of Public Education in New Orleans

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