State of Public Education in New Orleans

The addendum to the 2008 State of Public Education in New Orleans report (released in January 2009 ) analyzes the performance of public schools in New Orleans on standardized tests and other measures of student outcomes. The report provides a brief history and overview of Louisiana’s education accountability system and also provides relevant comparisons between New Orleans school performance and school performance in other parts of the state and the nation. The report is designed to help policymakers, educators, and citizens understand how public schools in New Orleans have progressed over time and also how they compare to schools around Louisiana and the United States.

Our report shows that, compared to last school year and to the period before Hurricane Katrina, public schools in New Orleans have made great strides in student achievement. According to the most recent school performance data released by the Louisiana Department of Education, if schools in New Orleans were still in one district, their district performance score would be 66.4 for the 2007-2008 school year. This represents a significant increase of nearly 10 points from the district’s score of 56.9 in the 2004-2005 school year. Even with these gains, however, the overall performance of public schools in New Orleans remains unacceptably low. We must do more to ensure that our children are provided with the education that they deserve.

2008 State of Public Education in New Orleans report

In partnership with the Greater New Orleans Education Foundation and the New Orleans City Council’s Education Committee, we are proud to release to the second annual State of Public Education in New Orleans report. The report provides an ongoing chronicle and assessment of the progress of public education in New Orleans, including a comprehensive description of the current system and an assessment of public opinion about how well the schools are performing. We believe that the report will again be a definitive source of information on public education in New Orleans for the legislature, governor, educators, media, funders, and the larger community.

This year’s report, released in April 2008, is based on a widespread and in-depth analysis of public schools in New Orleans including more than 50 interviews with community leaders, public officials, education experts, and school principals; over 25 focus groups with students, teachers, and community members; and over 1,850 survey responses from parents, teachers, and community members. In addition, Cowen Institute researchers obtained data and information about public schools from the Louisiana Department of Education, the Recovery School District, the Orleans Parish School Board, and other organizations.

Click here to download a copy of the 2007 report.

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