OPSB Needs to Work with RSD on NMTCs

| February 20, 2013

Last night, at the second meeting of the new Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB), an item was blocked from the agenda that would have allowed the board to finalize all the paperwork and “proceedings” necessary to pursue New Market Tax Credits (NMTC). This extra money would help fund the new Phillis Wheatley Elementary school building […]

Education Marketplace Requires Public Trust

| July 9, 2012

The omnibus legislation referred to as Act 2 or the “Choice Bill” made several changes to how parents and students access public education by allowing state funding to follow them to their school of choice, public or private. This free market approach to opening and closing schools and educating students turns parents into consumers. Because […]

A True OneApp for New Orleans

| June 19, 2012

The Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) is poised to vote tonight on a resolution in support of working with the Recovery School District (RSD) to create a single, citywide application process for public school enrollment. This is a critical step towards ensuring a fair, transparent, and equitable public school system in New Orleans.

An Intern’s Perspective: Amanda Brackman

| May 14, 2012

This last semester I had the opportunity of interning at the Cowen Institute as a research assistant for the policy team. Before signing on to be a part of the institute this spring, I worked as a volunteer at Lusher Charter School; an experience I enjoyed immensely. While working closely with children attending school in New Orleans, […]

An Intern’s Perspective: Lindsey Shroff

| May 14, 2012

As I studied school psychology during my years at Tulane and volunteered at multiple elementary schools around New Orleans, I became passionate about education, specifically about the potential it has to impact the track of students’ lives.  As graduation this spring quickly approached, I knew that I wanted to work in education, but was unsure […]

Support the Millage Increase

| May 14, 2012

On May 15th, OPSB will vote on whether or not to raise an additional $4,900,000 for public schools, by rolling forward a millage to increase property taxes collected by the board. The Cowen Institute strongly encourages the Orleans Parish School Board to roll forward its millage!

Private Schools & Choice: How H.B. 976 Expands the New Orleans Voucher Pilot Program Statewide

| April 9, 2012

Last Thursday, April 5th, we released a new report in our Spotlight on Choice project that looks at the role of private schools in the New Orleans system of school choice through the Student Scholarships for Education Excellence (or, “voucher”) pilot program. That same day, the Louisiana House of Representatives gave final approval to legislation creating a new statewide publicly-funded private school voucher program. The crux of the statewide voucher program remains the same as the pilot program in New Orleans, providing low and moderate income families public funding to attend a private school instead of a poor performing public school. However, there are also several important differences. In this blog post, we’ve outlined the similarities and differences between the New Orleans pilot program and the new statewide program.

NCLB Waiver is an Opportunity for Public Education in Louisiana

| March 5, 2012

On February 27th, the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) applied to the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) in the second round of applications for flexibility from the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). In exchange for a waiver from certain reporting and funding requirements under the Act, the LDOE plans to implement the Common Core […]

What Makes a Great School Truly Great?

| March 1, 2012

Just before Mardi Gras, the Recovery School District (RSD) released its new annual school Equity Report. The Equity Report is one of the RSD’s commitments to New Orleans outlined last August, and the goal of the new report is to measure and make transparent the “things that make a great school truly great.”

The Charter Application Process in New Orleans

| February 3, 2012

Recent charter authorization decisions by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) and the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB), have led some local community members and organizations, organized as the Coalition for Community Leadership in Education, to express frustration with the charter application process. In a city where nearly 80 percent of public school students attend a charter school, community groups and local educators must play a role in the creation and operation of charter […]

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