Sunday, June 15, 2014

Charter schools in New Orleans

7) The Washington Post on an important milestone reached in New Orleans – the district is now 100% charter – and students are benefitting HUGELY (also see the attached slides from my school reform presentation, which is posted at:

Before the storm, the city's high school graduation rate was 54.4 percent. In 2013, the rate for the Recovery School District was 77.6 percent. On average, 57 percent of students performed at grade level in math and reading in 2013, up from 23 percent in 2007, according to the state.

… "This is the most exciting city in the country for education," said Kate Mehok, the chief executive of Crescent City Schools, which operates Akili. She began her career with Teach for America and was a founding assistant principal at a KIPP charter school in Harlem. "Anytime you allow parents choice about where they can send their kids to school, it can only be good."

When Katrina struck in 2005, the public schools in New Orleans were considered among the worst in the country. Just before the storm, the elected Orleans Parish School District was bankrupt and couldn't account for about $71 million in federal money. There were just a few charter schools.

… "The difference between now and pre-Katrina is that we're replacing schools that are not performing well," Dobard said. "We don't let children languish in chronically poor performing neighborhood schools. It was a system of haves and have nots. We passed those times in New Orleans, and I'm glad we left those behind us."

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