The Cowen Institute at Tulane University has released 2018’s State of Public Education in New Orleans, its flagship publication, which analyzes and distills the past year’s changes in school governance, accountability, performance, enrollment, and demographics.
The annual report provides wide-ranging data and insights into the performance of schools and students and the impact of major policy changes in New Orleans. It notes overall improvement in public education since 2005 but finds that, since 2016, performance has stagnated or dropped on some metrics, and there remains uneven and insufficient access to high-quality education for all age groups.
This year’s report addresses the upcoming unification of Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) and Recovery School District (RSD) schools, showing what will change and what will remain the same, and analyzes the state’s new accountability measures along with the potential effects on the system of schools and students.
“Since the Cowen Institute formed in 2007, we have aimed to chronicle and analyze the transformation of New Orleans’ K-12 education system and to advocate for its continued progress,” said Amanda Hill, executive director of the Cowen Institute. “Through our annual State of Public Education in New Orleans report, as well as the issue briefs and polls that we release throughout the year, we hope to share this analysis in a way that is relevant and accessible to our broader New Orleans community.”
Additionally, the report turns an eye to the future as it considers the changes that will follow unification. Educators and education leaders from across the state share insight on upcoming challenges—and solutions—in accountability, curriculum, teacher quality and retention, early childhood education, and postsecondary success. Their perspectives, coupled with the report’s in-depth analysis, offer a holistic look at the future of public education in New Orleans.
The Cowen Institute will host a panel discussion about the report and the state of the school district at 4:30 p.m., April 26, at the New Orleans BioInnovation Center, located at 1441 Canal St. The panel will feature Henderson Lewis, Jr., OPSB superintendent; Kunjan Narechania, RSD chief executive officer and assistant state superintendent of Louisiana; and Kira Orange-Jones, District 2 representative of the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and senior Vice president of Teach For America’s regional operations in the Greater New Orleans and Louisiana Delta Area. Tulane President Emeritus and Cowen Institute Board Chair Scott Cowen will give opening remarks and a reception will follow. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To attend, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.