Some of you may have seen reports in the Picayune or from Leslie Jacob’s “Educate Now” organization touting an educational resurgence taking place in New Orleans. One of the claims is that only 5% of students are now in “failing” schools. I’ve had a little time to look at her stats and the reporting put out by the State and thought I’d make my own fancy graphs and charts and point out some glaring logic flaws, but instead I decided to just look at the raw numbers. I will publish my data for you to critique. I don’t have access to all the data, but that Leslie Jacobs can get with her friendly relationship with John White and LDOE, but I can still deduce a few things, and I have been accumulating files from folks who had older reports, that LDOE removed from their website, archived on their local machines.

Let’s examine one of Leslie’s claims before showing you what I’ve found:

Claim: Only 5% of students now attend a failing school – down from 62% in 2005.

Only 5% of students now attend a failing school – down from 62% in 2005.  In 2004-05, 78 public schools in New Orleans, enrolling over 38,000 students, were failing. Today, only 9 schools in the city, enrolling 2,481 students, are failing.*

As evidence for this claim Leslie uses enrollment from 2013-2014 for school still open. However the test scores and grad numbers come from the previous school year, 2012-2013. She uses the 2004-2005 enrollment figures for the 2005 SPS score comparisons so it is clear this is not a simple “oversight” but an intentional misrepresentation. Much of the press release is filled with accurate numbers but interpreted creatively. If we planning on using the enrollment of the year the scores are released, the 2005 SPS scores would have related to a total enrollment of just 5800 students.

For instance, Educate Now assumes ever school without a score is a non-failed school by definition. It’s not really clear why many of the schools without scores or grades were given passes this year. The explanation in the footnote is not sufficient to explain why so many schools that had students on October 1 of 2012 did not take tests or have test results reported for tests given in April of 2013. I have chosen not to automatically assume these charters are “passing” and have assigned them failing grades, which for all we know they may very well be. It is absolutely certain we cannot claim they are passing schools as the press release claims and they may very well be failing schools. Only LDOE knows, and for some reason they are not telling, which I find telling. When I add those schools into the failing category, use the apples to apples test scores of last year, include the proper enrollment from 2012-2013 to make an “apples to apples” enrollment comparison, and include schools that were closed for sucking I get a more modest 22% enrollment of potentially failing schools. When I add in schools graded D or F I get close to 52% of the students in inadequate schools. As Leslie points out in her own release, we did not have an A –F scale in 2005, so she made an assuming about what would have been assigned an “F”/”Failing” grade. Since Bobby Jindal and John White see schools graded “C” and below as inadequate enough to warrant giving parents school choice, the actual failing percentage by the metric LDOE uses for granting parents a school choice option, the actual substandard percentage rises to 69% now compared to 62% in 2005. Who am I to argue with what they themselves have already defined as the failure of our public school systems to provide an adequate education?

White said the 2013 scores for voucher students were low because of the large influx of students from failing schools. The voucher program, officially called the Louisiana Scholarship Program, started in New Orleans in 2008 and expanded statewide just this school year. It is open to low-income students who are either entering kindergarten or who have been attending a public school graded C, D or F. This year, 61 percent of test-takers were in their first year at their voucher school.

Oct 1 Enroll TrueGrade %
7786 A 18%
5502 B 13%
7452 C 17%
12992 D 30%
9664 F 22%
43396    

(*Note: unnecessary bright colors to make chart easy for parents to understand.*)

Bobby Jindal has openly called C schools “failing schools” as recently as 5 days ago when defending his voucher program from federal oversight.

“The Obama administration wants to deny a voice to the very people who will be harmed by this ridiculous lawsuit,” Jindal said in a statement, accusing the department of “trying to muzzle parents who simply want to express an opinion about why their children should have the opportunity to escape failing schools.”

Vouchers, officially called the Louisiana Scholarship Program, let low-income children who are new to the public school system or who attend C-, D- or F-schools attend participating private schools at taxpayer expense.

But just for argument’s sake, let’s see what Leslie is calling a New Orleans non-failing school, shall we?

Here is an easy to read school report card. I know it’s easy to read and “parent friendly” because this seizure inducing message on the official LDOE website tells me so.  Like all parents, I find I can only understand things easily if you dress them up in as many bright, clashing colors as possible.

Wow this is easy!

A “C” average New Orleans elementary school gets something magical, called bonus points. Apparently 43% of their students score below basic on standardized tests compared to a statewide average of 32%. Frankly I’d call that above average (underachievement), but obviously I’m not a LDOE mathematician, just a parent.  Best to stop looking at numbers and focus on the fact my F was curved (altered) to a “C” and that this mess is displayed in an almost unreadable sickly green.

Apparently non-failing high schools in New Orleans get bonus points too! A non-failing high school (in New Orleans) has almost 13% of their students getting a “Good” or better! That is good! (the LDOE geniuses obviously failed basic math and think putting <5% hides the fact only 1% is left when you add the other 99% together. ) Of course the state average is 59%, but who’s counting right? It’s the arbitrarily calculated “passing D” (after New Orleans bonus points) that matters, right?

I’m just a simple parent, so obviously I need lots of unreadable bright color, but I wonder how this school manages to swing a 74% graduation rate when 60% of their students are scoring in the lowest possible category on the very state tests needed to graduate? I know those graduation counts factor into the SPS scores, and graduating is good an all, but I do have to wonder at the quality of the diplomas being issued. . .

We have incentivized schools to churn out graduates, and their very existence depends on pushing out as many of those as they can manage. Do you think some of them might be graduating students who simply attend 4 years?  I wonder if John White and BESE removing the GEE (graduate exit exam) has something to do with this impressive grad rate coupled with a dismal set of performance scores?

Here’s my data in case you were curious how I came to my conclusions. (I had to look up every single fricken school individually to determine its physical address since LDOE did not include a Parish code, so I hope you appreciate the work I put in on this.) There’s only so much LDOE can reveal before the cracks begin to show. There is a reason they are hiding historical info and source info, folks. Fortunately they don’t have a clue what most of the data means so they accidentally release more than they intend to.

Enrollment
SiteCode

SiteName

Total

TrueGrade

oldgrade

newgrade

NO

oldSPS

newSPS

036005 Audubon Charter School

808

A A A Y

127

106

036011 Mary Bethune Elementary Literature/Technology

380

B B B Y

107

88

036013 Einstein Charter School

475

B B B Y

106

95

036035 Warren Easton Senior High School

929

A A B Y

139

95

036043 Benjamin Franklin High School

794

A A A Y

197

138

036056 Alice M. Harte Elementary Charter School

681

B B B Y

114

94

036060 Edward Hynes Charter School

636

A A A Y

124

107

036064 Edna Karr High School

974

A A B Y

129

94

036079 Lusher Charter School

1,697

A A A Y

172

133

036088 McDonogh #35 College Preparatory School

855

C C C Y

100

84

036089 Mahalia Jackson Elementary School

109

B B B Y

107

88

036096 Eleanor McMain Secondary School

766

B B B Y

118

94

036132 Youth Study Center

34

F Y
036149 Robert Russa Moton Charter School

346

D D D Y

89

62

036158 Lake Forest Elementary Charter School

500

A A A Y

152

125

036161 Benjamin Franklin Elem. Math and Science

698

B B B Y

108

96

036163 New Orleans Charter Science and Mathematics HS

369

B B C Y

118

85

036186 McDonogh 35 Career Academy

94

C C D Y

91

64

036187 ENCORE Academy

190

D D D Y

88

65

300001 Pierre A. Capdau Learning Academy

401

F F F Y

74

49

300002 Nelson Elementary School

501

C C C Y

95

80

300003 Lake Area New Tech Early College High School

657

C C C Y

102

74

300004 Gentilly Terrace Elementary School

456

D D C Y

86

74

331001 International School of Louisiana

743

A A A Y

124

105

334001 New Orleans Center for Creative Arts

119

A A A Y

161

115

339001 Milestone SABIS Academy of New Orleans

419

D D D Y

83

63

344001 International High School of New Orleans

418

C C D Y

102

67

347001 Lycee Francais de la Nouvelle-Orleans

341

F Y
348001 New Orleans Military/Maritime Academy

219

A A B Y

130

85

360001 The NET Charter High School

150

F F F Y

40

9

361001 Crescent Leadership Academy

159

F T T Y

36

25

362001 John McDonogh High School

389

F T T Y

30

9

363001 Harriet Tubman Charter School

520

D T T Y

82

73

364001 Fannie C. Williams Charter School

550

D T T Y

86

76

366001 Lagniappe Academy of New Orleans

131

C C B Y

95

85

367001 Edgar P. Harney Spirit of Excellence Academy

373

D D D Y

76

64

368001 Morris Jeff Community School

310

C C C Y

101

84

369001 Batiste Cultural Arts Academy at Live Oak Elem

678

F F D Y

61

60

369002 SciTech Academy at Laurel Elementary

694

F F C Y

72

75

369003 Reed Elementary School

690

D T T Y

74

64

369004 ReNEW Accelerated High School, City Park Campus

191

F F F Y

22

5

369005 ReNEW Accelerated High School, West Bank Campus

178

F F F Y

17

2

373001 Arise Academy

387

D D C Y

77

72

374001 Success Preparatory Academy

410

D D C Y

86

80

375001 Benjamin E. Mays Preparatory School

361

F Y
376001 Pride College Preparatory Academy

323

F Y
379001 Crocker Arts and Technology School

279

F Y
380001 The Intercultural Charter School

385

F Y
381001 Akili Academy of New Orleans

385

D D C Y

86

72

382001 Sci Academy

367

A A B Y

129

89

382002 G. W. Carver Collegiate Academy

103

F Y
382003 G. W. Carver Preparatory Academy

110

F Y
384001 Miller-McCoy Academy for Mathematics and Business

387

F F D Y

67

60

385001 Sylvanie Williams College Prep

358

D D C Y

84

72

385002 Cohen College Prep

502

D D D Y

84

64

388001 Andrew H. Wilson Charter School

616

D D D Y

77

63

390001 James M. Singleton Charter School

645

D D D Y

83

57

391001 Dr. Martin Luther King Charter School for Sci/Tech

760

C C C Y

102

78

391002 Joseph A. Craig Charter School

382

F T T Y

61

50

392001 McDonogh City Park Academy

422

D D C Y

87

78

393001 Lafayette Academy

939

D D C Y

84

80

393002 Esperanza Charter School

460

D D C Y

81

75

393003 McDonogh 42 Charter School

446

F T T Y

55

39

395001 Martin Behrman Elementary School

714

B B B Y

112

92

395002 Dwight D. Eisenhower Elementary School

603

D D C Y

82

80

395003 William J. Fischer Elementary School

674

D D C Y

80

76

395004 McDonogh #32 Elementary School

438

D D C Y

78

71

395005 O.Perry Walker Senior High School

903

B B B Y

109

86

395007 Algiers Technology Academy

238

D D D Y

82

52

396003 Benjamin Banneker Elementary School

404

F F D Y

62

54

396004 Walter L. Cohen High School

119

F F F Y

50

41

396009 Paul B. Habans Elementary School

354

F Y
396010 Murray Henderson Elementary School

80

F Y
396012 James Weldon Johnson School

282

F Y
396017 Sarah Towles Reed Senior High School

259

F F D Y

51

57

396019 A.P. Tureaud Elementary School

246

D D D Y

89

68

396026 G.W. Carver High School

169

F F D Y

61

63

396029 F.W. Gregory Elementary School

85

F Y
396031 L. B. Landry High School

466

F Y
396034 H.C. Schaumburg Elementary School

564

F Y
396037 Mary D. Coghill Elementary School

597

F Y
396203 Abramson Science and Technology School

294

F Y
397001 Sophie B. Wright Learning Academy

484

C C B Y

101

88

398001 KIPP Believe College Prep (Phillips)

617

C C C Y

100

78

398002 KIPP McDonogh 15 School for the Creative Arts

766

C C B Y

102

90

398003 KIPP Central City Academy

407

B B B Y

108

97

398004 KIPP Central City Primary

513

C C C Y

92

75

398005 KIPP Renaissance High School

380

C C D Y

95

50

398006 KIPP New Orleans Leadership Academy

528

D D C Y

79

71

399001 Samuel J. Green Charter School

515

D D C Y

87

78

399002 Arthur Ashe Charter School

490

C C B Y

99

90

399003 Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High School

435

D T T Y

86

58

399004 John Dibert Community School

476

C C B Y

92

88

399005 Langston Hughes Charter Academy

647

D D C Y

87

81

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11 thoughts on “New Orleans SPS score release reveals 69% of students now attend “failing schools” according to Bobby Jindal (compared to 62% in 2005)

  1. Nice conjecture. Maybe we could use the “takeover trigger” from the New Orleans takeover law to define failing. For the curious, RS 17:10.5, 10.6, and 10.7 all played into the decision (and 17 10.7 had a sunset clause and has expired). Leslie Jacobs wrote some of these for our brilliant legislators. Anyway, it was below the state average. Creative interpretation? Had I used such a technique as a youngster, I’d have been called a liar.

    Graduation data. You and Schneider and a few others have been randomly tossing around the term “bogus” for a few days, but that grad data IS bogus. There’s a handful of high schools that is on the “AUDIT FIRST” list, but because most are in the RSD, no one has been audited. So schools in Vermilion, Lafayette, Jennings, Jefferson (for certain) get away with cheating so none of the RSD schools get caught.

    Most of the schools that may not have published scores, did have test results posted, so we could create a proxy assessment index. We wouldn’t have bonus points, nor the 5% for middle schools that most got over 100 points. Only 30 out of 449 got less than 100 points. And only 5 of the 30 were (drum roll) Ta da, RSD or charters. Now that’s inflated (oh heavens, Schneider will have to use her favorite word “bias” here). The nincompoops at the LDoE think we’re nincompoops and can’t see this.

    Over 1/2 the schools in the state received no bonus points (688-52%) but over in the RSD and charter category 2/3 received bonus points. The bonus points were designed specifically for the RSD (one of the leaks in the LDoE can confirm this) and OVER 2/3 of them got bonus points. The details of bonus points require student level data to check, so we won’t be verifying those. The bonus point policy that BESE has seen and approved – WAS NOT USED TO CALCULATE BONUS POINTS – not even something similar. The feds would not allow the written to be used. Baggy left it in ” Those people in Washington aren’t telling me how to run MY accountability system.” That’s a real quote friends, from the leak. But Jessica and staff (all labeled LD – subject specific morons) can’t seem to keep policy straight, not that BESE would ever call them on it.

    STUPID, STUPID, STUPID even Gomer Pyle would agree. And that’s us for electing cretins into office who allow this crap.

  2. Jen’s got it pretty straight. Calculating with some of those assessment files for a proxy SPS would be tough since they are in PDF. If someone has PDF pro, I have a calculator that’ll do it in the time it takes to past in the various data sets.

  3. Can someone tell me what the real agenda is? It is obvious that had the monies and the energy been placed into the public schools rather than the scattered approach we now have, we would have produced excellence that we now will never know. I am amazed at the number of students we are tutoring who are 1st and 2nd graders who have two and three F’s on their first 9 weeks report cards. What’s going on?

  4. I don’t understand why this cannot be a 100 point scale. That would make it EASIER to understand. It is like the changes in scoring in gymnastics and figure skating. They are intentionally confusing so people cannot complain.

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