I’ve just gotten reports that John McDonogh, run by Future is Now and Steve Barr, is being closed at the end of the 2013-2014 school year. My source claims John White is reported to have notified the teachers at John Mcdonogh Thursday, January 16th. The following year John McDonogh is going to be closed for renovations that White had previously allocated 35 million dollars for, almost 2 years ago. The RSD had reported that the school did not want to move to a temporary site, because they feared such a move at the beginning of the program could disrupt the school culture they were trying to foster.

On Wed, Sep 4, 2013 at 10:12 AM, Zoey Reed <Zoey.Reed@rsdla.net> wrote:

“Also, as far as timeline, the charter schools work with the RSD on timing, FIN of John McDonogh asked the RSD not to start renovations because students would have to move and they were building school culture and didn’t want the disruption. “

This culture produced a 9.3 out of 150 on the state’s SPS scores last year. Last year Steve Barr also infamously contacted Oprah Winfrey to have his charter school filmed as part of the ill-conceived BlackBoard Wars that promoted John McDonogh as the “Most Dangerous School in the Country.”

On this season of Blackboard Wars, we saw the students, staff and teachers at John MacDonogh High make their way through a challenging yet rewarding school year. Though the school was faced with the effects of violence, homelessness, mental illness and’ ‘community opposition,’ ‘the rough patches also brought to light inspiring moments of courage, dedication and perseverance.

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/own-blackboard-wars/11-of-Our-Favorite-Things-from-Season-1-of-Blackboard-Wars#ixzz2qfJK80hg

The funding provided for this filming was never accounted for and has largely been assumed it was absorbed by Steve Barr and his administrative costs which included a 115,000 dollars for principal for ninth graders (around 13 of them.) Additionally New Schools For New Orleans provided an 800,000 dollar grant last year that was largely dedicated to hundreds of thousands in extra salary for Steve Barr as well as for many of his executive staff and very little for school supplies or renovations, while this year they were facing a 900,000 shortfall.

Many thanks to all the reporters at that kept pressure on this horrible charter abomination that was a blight on the community as well as the souls of many of the children it so poorly served. This is what happens when you allow entrepreneurs to experiment on kids with little oversight or controls.

Here are some of my previous articles on John McDonogh.



I will update you on any new developments.

Updated response (Press Release) from LDOE as of 1/17/14

1615 Poydras Street. Suite 1400. New Orleans. LA 504.373.6200 http://www.rsdla.net


Contact: Cay Kimbrell, Chief of Staff for External Affairs

504.373-6200 ext. 22140 (o)


Recovery School District to Renovate John McDonogh Starting Summer 2014

State-of-the-art Facility on Esplanade Avenue will Speed Academic Transformation

NEW ORLEANS, LA (January 17, 2014) – Following through on the commitment to serve every New Orleans child in renovated, refurbished, or new school buildings, the Recovery School District (RSD) announced today plans to accelerate the renovation of the John McDonogh High School facility in order for students to occupy the renovated school by the 2016-17 school year. The renovation will serve as a further catalyst in the ongoing revitalization of the cherished Esplanade Ridge high school.

“We are making good on our promise to provide a state of the art facility for our students,” said RSD Superintendent Patrick Dobard. “At the same time, we must make academic progress at a faster clip than we are today. Speeding up this renovation will help to speed up the day when students can benefit from a world-class education at the John McDonogh High School facility.”

In 2011, the RSD launched plans for transforming and improving struggling high schools in New Orleans. The district commenced those plans at George Washington Carver High School, Joseph S. Clark High School, Walter Cohen High School, L.B. Landry High School, and John McDonogh High School.

As part of this process, to assist in the transformation of John McDonogh, the RSD dedicated funding for the complete renovation of the landmark facility on Esplanade Avenue. When construction is complete, the new facility will be designed to LEED Silver standard and will include redesigned new academic classrooms, new science labs, space for performing and visual arts, a new gymnasium and cafeteria, and a new media center. An architect will be hired to begin design on the project this spring with occupancy of the building scheduled for the 2016-17 school year.

The renovation of the facility is one of the many rebuilding projects encompassing the School Facilities Master Plan for Orleans Parish, an unprecedented school construction program launched as a result of the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina. The $1.8 billion plan, approved in November 2008 by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Orleans Parish School Board, is the first major facilities plan for Orleans Parish schools since 1952.

Renovation of the facility will require that the building be empty and unused throughout its construction during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years. Because of this, all John McDonogh students who are not graduating in May 2014 will transition to a new school in the subsequent school year. Schools for current John McDonogh students to choose from through the OneApp process are listed in the table below.

Each student will have priority status in the city’s OneApp choice enrollment system. The RSD will provide individualized support to assist students and families in deciding which school to attend. Additionally, individualized support will be provided to the school’s staff to assist them in transitioning to a new position for the following school year.

The application window for OneApp is currently open and families have until February 28 to submit their application and rank up to 8 schools of choice. Parents and students will receive specific information on the support being provided in the coming weeks. For general questions related to the OneApp process, families should contact the RSD’s Family Resource Centers at 1-877-343-4773.

The RSD will work with Future is Now New Orleans to ensure that students successfully complete the school year and engage with community stakeholders to determine the future of the John McDonogh High School facility.

7 thoughts on “News Flash – John Mcdonogh reported to be closing at the end of this school year!

  1. So where is Oprah ? She ain’t gonna talk now, is she?

    She can’t OWN this? She got everything she wants, I guess.
    But not the public so much anymore, I think. She has betrayed us, particularly teachers by joining forces with that white male plutocracy behind some of the most detrimental disruptions in public schools. While Gates is vaguely conceding he may be wrong about evaluating teachers ( he saus his experiment needs ten years to be tested but how many teachers will be terminated unfarly by then). Judging reachers and schools with students test scores dooms schools that serve poor children of color . But it is good for unloading experienced career teachers
    The refirmers want make room for mostly affluent white temps from TFA because they are cheaper, more compliant and will not ask for pensions or perks like these low life teachers who make fraction of what incimoetent, often corrupt officials do . Nevermind that she is still having trouble with her school in another nation and promoting John Legend, Pitbull and this grifter Steve Barr as Supermen. You’d think she could learn a thing or two from all this, but maybe wealth renders folks stupid, lazy and arrogant no matter what color they are.
    Does she realize these charter schools refuse to serve certain students? Does she understand that Eli Broad made his billions from white flight and the AMERICAN blight that’s tract housing? Has she heard about the school to prison pipeline that has assured an unseemly percentage of inmates are black? It doesn’t matter if these billionaires support OBAMA ( he is a house n—– to them as is Oprah) . So what if they claim they’re NEO liberals. This is casino capitalism meets vulture philanthropy.
    These guys support all sides so they can pull puppet strings and influence policy and law while stealing untold fortunes from tax paying slobs no matter who we vote in or what wewant as the people. To undermine the profession of teachers with the likes of Rhee, who admits SHE abused her students during the 2 years she spent in an actual Classroom by taping ther mouths shut ( only a couple of them bled she laughs) is offensive and immoral. This “educator’s” scores are suspect. Cheating follows Rhee. It is clearly the result of fear and desperation in cheaters’ part, but unertandable with such high stakes( their jobs, schools and students’ futures) with an outaragious margin if error that exceeds 50%. And that data everyone is so high on is profoundly flawed because it a) fails to factor in remediation, actual progress of each student, plus a litany of mitigating factors like language, IEPS , scheduling prejudices, cultural bias and buy in for students.
    B) Testing also pits students who are poor against scores of white middle class demigraphic where over crowding, lack of resources, socio-economic Disadvatages, and Cultural Discord with Standards are not so prevalent and students are well trained in the skill of test taking. Tests are incredibly limited in what they can measure in this configuration, btw.
    C) Bias in language and content is a viable concern, but it is also complicated by the limitations of multiple choice format, poorly written test materials, test banked questions, and frequent flaws in the way standards are addressed.
    D) BECAUSE it defies all we know about human maturation and character to make education uniform since each individual has ceratin aptitudes, learning styles and skill sets which are best served by personalized instruction, which obviously interferes with profitS, TESTING IS not an effective approach to educating children. It is merely a tool and reformers are using it as a weapon,
    E) Ubiquitous cheating has made the test data invalid . Nothing we can learn from data is reliable but the willingness to use it exposes the VAM scam which is more committed to usurping tenured teachers than to improving instruction or reaching for any real excellence in education .
    D) A lucrative testing industry is now an Indusrial Education Complex that rakes in trillions annually and has created a corrosive corruption with the EducRAT$’ scapegoating teachers in the trenches, turning our children into their assets and undermining the education in certain communities. The future they have now wants to assure the plutocracy will privatize, profit and like Oprah never be accountable for failure because reform is played off as philanthropy, public servitude and support for civil rights when it is truly one of the most insidious and ugly movements for capitalist greed, racism and oppressive control we have confronted since Nazi Germany. It is a class war, baby!
    E ) This standardized testing and charter schools ushered in an unethical regime of Broadies, careerists, consultants and criminals that drain resources meant for schools while obscuring the actuality of student needs as they censor and negate the role of teachers who work with children daily . These top heavy educracies install many nonessential, expensive suits who are lawless bulles without any substantial experience in education. Their mission is to profit so it is necessary to broker deals with vendors , which creates a vortex of waste while undermining the students and teachers by constant upheaval and uncertainty in curriculium and policy.

    In other words the tests suck, reform is is deformed, VAM is a scam and apparently Oprah has finally realized her dream of becoming an entitled, white Imperialist without soul or a soul for that matter. Way to go, grrrrrllll.

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