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New Orleans School Changes Worked, Cowen Institute Says

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, have New Orleans’ massive education changes worked? Tulane’s Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives issued its answer in a Wednesday (June 17) report:

“The academic performance of New Orleans’ schools has improved remarkably over the past 10 years,” authors Patrick Sims and Vincent Rossmeier write in the anniversary edition of the institute’s annual evaluation. Before the storm, only one parish in the state did worse.

In the months after the disaster, the state took over all but about 15 of the city’s 120-plus public schools and began turning them into independently run charters. Most of the schools left under local control became charters too. The city stopped assigning students to neighborhood schools and allowed everyone to choose where to go.

Now the city has climbed all the way up to … average.