School Choice & Charters Report Roundup

Charters Led to Marketing Push in New Orleans

By Jacob Bell — March 31, 2015 2 min read

In New Orleans, where charter schools have become the norm and compete against each other for student enrollment, school leaders’ perceptions of, and reactions to, growing competition differed based on where they were in the marketplace hierarchy, a new study finds.

Researcher Huriya Jabbar based her study on 72 interviews with district and charter school officials and principals from 30 randomly selected New Orleans schools. She found that leaders of high-status schools—those which have high student achievement and are often viewed as competition by other schools—were more likely to respond to competition by developing niche programs, instituting operational changes like increased fundraising or expansion into pre-K education, and using more selective or exclusionary practices regarding enrollment.

Leaders of lower-status schools, which were facing more pressure to compete, employed more strategies to promote their schools, including improving academics, providing a wider range of extracurricular activities, and gathering marketing information.

Ms. Jabbar said the most important finding of the study was that two-thirds of the leaders reported not implementing substantial academic or operational changes aimed at improving their schools in order to increase their competitiveness. Rather, 25 of the 30 schools promoted existing programs and assets through marketing ventures such as advertising or recruitment fairs. The study determined that changes such as marketing to and screening students were inefficient and unfair.

New Orleans served as an ideal site to conduct the study, according to Ms. Jabbar. In 2005, as the school system was rebuilt following the devastation from Hurricane Katrina, the majority of New Orleans schools came under the control of the Recovery School District, a state-run effort to improve underperforming schools. Since then, all RSD-operated schools have become charter schools.

Charter school proponents, however, called the study outdated, noting that changes to the city’s school application process have made it harder for school leaders to “game” the system.

Ms. Jabbar is an assistant professor of educational policy at the University of Texas at Austin and a research associate at the Education Research Alliance for New Orleans, the Tulane University-based research organization that produced the report. The study is the second in a series of reports on New Orleans schools from the alliance.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the April 01, 2015 edition of Education Week as Charters Led to Marketing Push in New Orleans

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.
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
Curriculum Webinar
How to Power Your Curriculum With Digital Books
Register for this can’t miss session looking at best practices for utilizing digital books to support their curriculum.
Content provided by OverDrive
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
Embracing Student Engagement: The Pathway to Post-Pandemic Learning
As schools emerge from remote learning, educators are understandably worried about content and skills that students would otherwise have learned under normal circumstances. This raises the very real possibility that children will face endless hours
Content provided by Newsela

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 Choice & Charters Full-Time Virtual Schools: Still Growing, Still Struggling, Still Resisting Oversight
Nearly 500,000 students now attend full-time online and blended schools, says a new report from the National Education Policy Center.
6 min read
Student attending class from a remote location.
E+
School Choice & Charters Opinion Is Hybrid Home Schooling the Future of Education?
Rick Hess speaks with Mike McShane about hybrid home schooling, which combines the best of home schooling and traditional schooling.
7 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Choice & Charters Oklahoma Charter Schools Granted Local Tax Revenue in 'Seismic' Settlement
A groundbreaking settlement will fundamentally change the way charter schools are funded in Oklahoma, despite vehement opposition.
Nuria Martinez-Keel, The Oklahoman
3 min read
This July 19, 2019 photo shows an Epic Charter Schools office in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma State Board of Education voted Thursday in favor of an agreement with the state's public charter school association to settle a 2017 lawsuit.
This July 19, 2019 photo shows an Epic Charter Schools office in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma State Board of Education voted Thursday in favor of an agreement with the state's public charter school association to settle a 2017 lawsuit.
Sue Ogrocki/AP
School Choice & Charters COVID-19 May Energize Push for School Choice in States. Where That Leads Is Unclear
The pandemic is driving legislators' interest in mechanisms like education savings accounts, but the growth may not be straightforward.
8 min read
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds delivers her Condition of the State address before a joint session of the Iowa Legislature on Jan. 12 at the statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds delivers her Condition of the State address to state lawmakers on Jan. 12. She's pushing a major school choice expansion.
Bryon Houlgrave/The Des Moines Register via AP