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City Study 2019: New Orleans - Summary of Findings

This summary highlights major findings about the academic performance of students in public K-12 schools in New Orleans. Performance is measured by one-year learning gains or growth students made from one school year to the next. We benchmark the growth of New Orleans students against the state average growth and then compare the progress of charter school students with that of similar TPS students within New Orleans, accounting for student characteristics.

Overall: In reading, New Orleans students experienced stronger learning gains in 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17 compared to the state average learning gains. In math, New Orleans students posted greater learning gains in 2014-15, similar progress in 2015-16, and stronger growth in 2016-17 compared to the state average.

Sector: In reading, students in New Orleans charter schools had stronger growth compared to the state average in all three growth periods. In math, New Orleans charter school students experienced greater progress in 2014-15, posted similar gains in 2015-16, and had stronger growth in 2016-17. In both reading and math, New Orleans TPS students consistently posted similar growth compared to the state average throughout the growth periods. Cross-sector comparisons within New Orleans show that charter schools and TPS grew similarly except that charter schools experienced stronger math growth than TPS in 2015-16. 

A deeper dive into New Orleans student growth for the period ending in Spring 2017 reveals the following findings:

Charter School Type: New Orleans charter schools affiliated with a Charter Management Organization (CMO) exhibit similar growth in reading and stronger growth in math compared to the state average.  Independently managed charter schools in New Orleans outperform the state average in both subjects. Within the New Orleans charter sector, CMO-affiliated charters make significantly weaker progress in reading and similar progress in math compared to independently managed charter schools.

Race/Ethnicity: Black students in New Orleans experience similar learning gains in reading and stronger learning gains math compared to the state average black student. Black students in New Orleans charter schools post stronger growth compared to the state average black student in both reading and math, while black students in New Orleans TPS exhibit similar gains in both subjects compared to the state average black student. The growth of Hispanic students in the city does not differ from the state average Hispanic student, regardless of the sector in which they enroll. A comparison of sectors within New Orleans indicates no significant difference in progress associated with charter or TPS attendance for either black students or Hispanic students.

Poverty, ELL, and Special Education: New Orleans students living in poverty, overall and particularly those attending charter schools, exhibit significantly stronger growth in both reading and math compared to the state average student in poverty. New Orleans students in poverty attending TPS post similar gains in both subjects compared to the state average student in poverty. Cross-sector analysis within New Orleans shows that charter school students in poverty experience similar reading growth and stronger math growth compared to TPS students in poverty.

Students with English Language Learner (ELL) designation post gains similar to the state average ELL student, regardless of their sector of enrollment. Within New Orleans, ELL students attending charter schools perform similarly to TPS ELL students in reading and outperform TPS ELL students in math.

Students receiving special education services in New Orleans schools experience stronger learning gains compared to the state average student in special education in both reading and math. Special education students in New Orleans charter schools show a similar pattern to that for special education students in the city overall. Special education students in TPS post similar growth in both reading and math compared to the state average special education student. Within the city, learning gains of special education students attending charter schools do not differ from those of special education students attending TPS in either reading or math.  

Gender: Female students in New Orleans, overall and particularly those enrolled in charter schools, post stronger gains in both reading and math compared to the state average female student. Female students in New Orleans TPS experience growth similar to the state average female student in both subjects. Male students in New Orleans exhibit stronger growth in both reading and math compared to the state average male student. This pattern is also found specifically for male students in New Orleans charter schools. Male students in TPS post gains similar to the state average in both subjects.

Within the city, female students in charter schools perform similarly to female students in TPS in both subjects. Male students in New Orleans charter schools post similar reading gains and stronger growth in math compared to male students in New Orleans TPS.