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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Challenging Doug Harris to a Follow-Up Study Isolating OPSB and RSD Outcomes | deutsch29

Challenging Doug Harris to a Follow-Up Study Isolating OPSB and RSD Outcomes | deutsch29

Challenging Doug Harris to a Follow-Up Study Isolating OPSB and RSD Outcomes

In a July 15, 2018, study on market-ed reform in New Orleans, researchers Doug Harris and Matthew Larsen combined data on two sets of New Orleans schools: those not taken over by the state and remaining with the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB), and those taken over by the state to form the Recovery School District (RSD).
OPSB schools, most of which are charter schools, include selective admission charter schools and also have notably more white students. Not considered “failing,” OPSB schools have had higher school performance scores and ACT scores. OPSB schools are fewer in number, but examination of the number of students attending OPSB high schools from 2007 – 2014 indicates that OPSB schools have served more New Orleans students than have RSD high schools for all years but one.
RSD schools are not the schools that white students choose to attend. The number of RSD schools has fluctuated over the years, with the ratio of RSD schools to OPSB schools being 4:1. However, as previously noted, the number of students attending OPSB high schools rivals and exceeds the number of RSD high school students from 2007 – 2014 (the years included in Harris and Larsen’s study.
New Orleans has two school systems, if you will: one for the “haves” (OPSB), and one for the “have nots” (RSD).
It is misleading to analyze all New Orleans students together as one “choice” district.
I believe that OPSB success can conceal RSD deficit, especially in analyses of high school and college success.
I believe Harris and Larsen have done the public a disservice by ignoring where a student has attended school (OPSB or RSD) in their study.
It is not enough to even offer analyses by race or low-income divisions alone since many black students attend OPSB schools.
I challenge Harris and Larsen to redo their study and compare OPSB outcomes with RSD outcomes. To do so offers distinct insight into the outcomes associated with state takeover and subsequent charter conversion (RSD) versus non-state-takeover that includes selective admission charters (OPSB).
When the state took control of most of New Orleans’ public schools, it was with a boast of turning those schools around. Provide the public with measurable outcomes on this boast.
The public deserves to know the degree to which such turn-around was achieved.
Produce the study. And if you cannot produce the study, produce a brief explaining why you cannot produce it. Challenging Doug Harris to a Follow-Up Study Isolating OPSB and RSD Outcomes | deutsch29
Big Education Ape: A Failure On ALL FRONTS: What We Really Need To Know About SCHOOL UNIFICATION – The New Orleans Tribune -

A Failure On ALL FRONTS: What We Really Need To Know About SCHOOL UNIFICATION – The New Orleans Tribune

A Failure On ALL FRONTS: What We Really Need To Know About SCHOOL UNIFICATION – The New Orleans Tribune


By July 1, 2018, all schools under the Recovery School District-New Orleans will be under the control of the Orleans Parish School Board. But what does that really mean?

The Orleans Parish School Board will exercise little control over charter schools under the unification plan, essentially having veto power only when school management organizations seek to renew their charters.

Dr. Raynard Sanders
In the summer of 2016, the mainstream media and others hailed the return of public schools from the state-run Recovery School District to the Orleans Parish School Board. The return was viewed by many as an accomplishment as they boasted that the schools were returning after making dramatic academic performance compared to the poor academic performance public schools in New Orleans pre-Hurricane Katrina. In reality, the unification plan does not mean that schools have improved or that the elected school board will have any real governance power. Consider that in an article in The Advocate in August 2016, Caroline Roemer, executive director of the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools, warned the local Orleans Parish School Board, “As the primary authorizer for public schools in Orleans Parish, OPSB needs to. . . restructure itself accordingly so that it serves as a thought and support partner for its schools”.  To be sure, words like “authorizer” and “support partner” hardly equate to real local governance.
While there were tainted voices from the community and the media declaring that the autonomy of the charter school boards and good leadership were responsible for improved academic performance after Hurricane Katrina, numerous researchers and journalists here in New Orleans and across the country have found that charter schools in New Orleans have consistently scored lower than public schools across the state of Louisiana on mandated state tests and the ACT Test (a national college admission test). The education reform efforts have also been criticized for the less than honest pronouncement of issues around access and equity, serving special needs students and fiscal mismanagement.
Remembering How the reform in New Orleans happened
In the name of school reform, within months after Hurricane Katrina, state officials along with powerful national organizations decided to drastically change the delivery model of public education in New Orleans from a system of public schools governed by an elected school board to a system of charter schools managed by unelected individual charter school boards.  The Louisiana Legislature passed ACT 35 on November 29, 2005, while the city was mostly depopulated after Hurricane Katrina. ACT 35 changed the requirements for state takeover of schools by raising the required minimum School Performance Score (SPS) score and redefining “academically acceptable”  and “academically unacceptable”. A school’s SPS is a composite score based on one of three student performance exams, the school’s dropout rate and its student attendance rate. Before Hurricane Katrina, a SPS score of 60 was the cutoff score for a school to be labeled acceptable. Any school in Louisiana that was designated Academic Unacceptable (AU) for four consecutive years and showed no improvement was eligible for state takeover and placed under the jurisdiction of the Louisiana Department of Education’s Recovery School District (RSD).

Act 35 significantly changed the rules by raising the minimum SPS score to 87.4 even if these schools had not been AU for four straight years. Act 35 also expanded the state’s takeover authority so that it applied to school districts with more than 30 “failing” schools and with at least 50 percent of their student population in academically unacceptable schools. The 30- failing school provision meant that Act 35 had a unique impact on Orleans Parish, the state’s largest school district. Given the fact that 50 of Louisiana’s 64 parish school districts have fewer than 30 schools, the vast majority of parishes will never be affected by the 30-failing school threshold. When Act 35 was written, only, seven parishes had more than 40 schools; and Orleans Parish had far more public schools than any other district—47 more than the next largest district. Overnight, the new lines drawn by Act 35 Continue reading: A Failure On ALL FRONTS: What We Really Need To Know About SCHOOL UNIFICATION – The New Orleans Tribune

Big Education Ape: Charter school’s refusal to admit students lacking uniforms wasn’t its first violation | The Lens -