School Climate & Safety

Long Road Ahead for New Orleans

By Catherine Gewertz — June 19, 2007 1 min read

The state-run district that operates most of the public schools in New Orleans must put a priority on hiring top-quality teachers and opening enough good schools in 2007-08 to serve all children, a new report argues.

Two months away from Hurricane Katrina’s second anniversary, the report examines how well the city’s schools have bounced back and what the Recovery School District must do to bring them up to par.

It notes persistent problems finding strong teachers and principals, opening high-quality schools, and addressing operational matters such as shortages of school security guards and hot meals.

The report urges the RSD, which now runs 39 of the city’s 58 schools, to ensure that parents have easy-to-understand information about all their public school choices. The state district also must bolster its own operations and devise short-term and long-term plans for the city’s education system, including a timetable to return them to local control, the report says.

The Boston Consulting Group surveyed thousands of parents, students, educators, and community members to produce the report for the Greater New Orleans Education Foundation, the Scott S. Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives at Tulane University, and the education committee of the New Orleans City Council.

The report focused on the RSD’s tasks because it runs the lion’s share of the city’s schools: 22 district-run and 17 charter schools. The local Orleans Parish school board operates 17 schools, 12 of which are charters.

With a greater portion of students in charter schools—57 percent—than any other school system in the country, and two governing entities in charge, it is important that New Orleans have “a group or groups focused exclusively on supporting initiatives that benefit all public schools,” the study says.

Although “pockets of promise exist” in the city’s evolving education landscape, it says, the promise of real improvement will fade “unless immediate and dramatic action is taken to revitalize transformation efforts.”

Paul G. Vallas, who will take over as chief of the RSD July 1, said the report’s recommendations are “very consistent” with the plans he will present to the Louisiana state board of education this month.

See Also

See other stories on education issues in Louisiana. See data on Louisiana’s public school system.

A version of this article appeared in the June 20, 2007 edition of Education Week

Events

Jobs The EdWeek Top School Jobs Virtual Career Fair
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
Teaching Live Online Discussion How to Develop Powerful Project-Based Learning
How do you prepare students to be engaged, active, and empowered young adults? Creating a classroom atmosphere that encourages students to pursue critical inquiry and the many skills it requires demands artful planning on the
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Safe Return to Schools is Possible with Testing
We are edging closer to a nationwide return to in-person learning in the fall. However, vaccinations alone will not get us through this. Young children not being able to vaccinate, the spread of new and
Content provided by BD

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Climate & Safety Spotlight Spotlight on Safe Reopening
In this Spotlight, review how your district can strategically apply its funding, and how to help students safely bounce back, plus more.

School Climate & Safety Video A Year of Activism: Students Reflect on Their Fight for Racial Justice at School
Education Week talks to three students about their year of racial justice activism, what they learned, and where they are headed next.
4 min read
Tay Andwerson, front center, Denver School Board at-large director, leads demonstrators through Civic Center Park on a march to City Park to call for more oversight of the police Sunday, June 7, 2020, in Denver.
Tay Andwerson, front center, Denver School Board at-large director, leads demonstrators through Civic Center Park on a march to City Park to call for more oversight of the police Sunday, June 7, 2020, in Denver.
David Zalubowski/AP
School Climate & Safety Interactive Which Districts Have Cut School Policing Programs?
Which districts have taken steps to reduce their school policing programs or eliminate SRO positions? And what do those districts' demographics look like? Find out with Education Week's new interactive database.
A police officer walks down a hall inside a school
Collage by Vanessa Solis/Education Week (images: Michael Blann/Digital/Vision; Kristen Prahl/iStock/Getty Images Plus )
School Climate & Safety These Districts Defunded Their School Police. What Happened Next?
Six profiles of districts illustrate the tensions, successes, and concerns that have accompanied the changes they've made to their school police programs over the last year.
Deering High School in Portland, Maine, one of two schools to have their SROs removed.
Deering High School in Portland, Maine, one of two schools to have their SROs removed.
Ryan David Brown for Education Week