Last year, the Recovery School District closed four elementary schools in New Orleans because of poor performance, affecting about one thousand students, who had to find another school this year.
Now, state officials have released grades for many of the new schools those students are enrolled in. The question is whether those students who were forced to change schools ended up at better schools than the ones they left.
The state-run Recovery School District took over nearly all New Orleans public schools after Hurricane Katrina. Soon, it won't run any. It will, however, oversee dozens of charter schools, including 17 local schools which recently decided they wanted to stay in the state system instead of returning to the local school board.
Seventeen state-run charter schools in the Recovery School District will decide in the next two months whether to switch to the oversight of the Orleans Parish School Board. A list of eligible schools will be presented at a state education board meeting Wednesday.
Last year, many charter schools who were able to move turned that deal down, because it would mean they would lose their status as independent districts. That problem has since been resolved; a new law lets them stay independent.
The state ethics board has deferred a decision on whether state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education member Kira Orange-Jones can keep her elected seat and her job as executive director of the New Orleans branch of Teach for America.
Alainna Giacone, spokeswoman for the ethics board, said Friday that Orange-Jones' attorney asked for the postponement until the panel's August meeting.
The school bus company that transports most public school students in New Orleans has laid off its drivers in a dispute over $7.2 million in unpaid bills.
Blaine Krage, a spokesman for Warrenville, Ill.-based Durham School Services, told The Times-Picayune Tuesday that the company has sent termination letters to 142 drivers and 55 bus monitors telling them "we will not need their services this upcoming school year."
In a move to stop charter schools from expelling students too frequently, the state agency running most of New Orleans' public schools has issued new guidelines on what constitutes the kind of behavior that will get a student thrown out.