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4:09 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Tulane Report About Poverty And Education In New Orleans Defies Expectations

Tulane University’s Cowen Institute released a report Wednesday about poverty and educational outcomes in New Orleans, with some unexpected results.

Eighty-four percent of students in New Orleans are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, an indicator of poverty. And that number has grown by 9 percent since Katrina.

And yet, the average school performance score in New Orleans rose 41 percent during that same period.

Lens Reporter Jessica Williams says that combination of data — higher poverty rates and higher performing schools — goes against some commonly held assumptions.

"It definitely debunks the myth that poverty and high academic performance are not things that you can have together at one school," Williams says. "Even though New Orleans students are from poorer families, we have still managed to increase the pace of our academic growth in a way that outmatches the state."

The statewide average school performance score rose by 16 percent in the same time period.

To read more about the Cowen Institute Report, visit The Lens.

Support for education reporting on WWNO comes from Baptist Community Ministries, Entergy, The Hechinger Report, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

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