Each of the past few years, EdNavigator has issued grades for nearly all public schools in New Orleans serving grades 3-8. Today, we are releasing this year’s newly updated grades – in plenty of time for families to consider them before submitting their school choice applications through the OneApp system.
A Few Things to Know about EdNavigator’s Grades
- They are objective. To determine each school’s letter grade, we use only publicly available information generated by the State of Louisiana. Grades are not based on our opinions or anyone else’s. (Click here for more information about our approach.)
- They’re different from the official grades issues by the state. That’s because the state’s grading system is based almost entirely on student pass rates on annual tests. Pass rates are important, and EdNavigator includes pass rates in our grading system, too. However, we also consider student growth – which means, how much students are improving in their learning from year to year. (Beginning next year, the state will also include more substantial measures of student growth in its grades, too.)
- They are intended to serve as a support for families. It’s not easy to choose a school. Most families balance many different considerations, including location, academic programming, discipline, extra-curricular activities, etc. By emphasizing student growth, we hope to help families distinguish between schools that might seem similar at first, but are not similar when it comes to advancing student learning.
- They’re one way of looking at school quality, not the only way. These grades tell us something about each school’s success educating students, but they certainly don’t tell us everything. A school with an A grade may be a great fit for one family but a terrible one for another, for a host of reasons; likewise, a school with a C grade may still have a lot to offer.
Here’s the full list of grades for Orleans Parish public schools (see the end of this post for a downloadable PDF version as well). Below the grades, you’ll find our reflections on what’s most noteworthy in them.
Our Top Five Headlines from this Year’s Grades
- FirstLine’s K-8 schools did particularly well. All four schools in the FirstLine network – Arthur Ashe, Samuel J. Green, Phillis Wheatley, and Langton Hughes – earned C grades from the state but showed enough growth to receive a B from EdNavigator. Parents considering school options for next year should give these schools another look.
- Westbank families need better options. We are concerned about the lack of high performing schools available for Westbank families. Alice Harte is the only Westbank K-8 school that achieved a grade of B or higher. (It received an A.) Families need and deserve better.
- Bricolage remains TBD: One of the city’s most popular elementary options, Bricolage, does not have a grade from EdNavigator even though it received a B from the state. Parents may wonder why. It’s because Bricolage does not have growth data yet. Last year, only third graders participated in state testing. When those third graders test again this year as fourth graders, it will be possible to measure student growth, assuming the school has enough students to provide an adequate sample size.
- A big question mark for James M. Singleton Charter School. Singleton’s official state grade was a C. Thanks to the city’s highest math growth and the fourth highest growth in English Language Arts, it outperformed perennial top performers like Audubon and Alice Harte, and its adjusted school performance score would have earned an A from us. However, an ongoing investigation recently resulted in the firing of four educators from the school after the state Department of Education identified “irregularities” in tests from 165 students, which calls these results into question. We have withheld a grade until these issues are resolved.
- Overall, Orleans Parish schools earned lower grades in 2018 than they did in 2017. The number of A and B grades dropped from 23 to 17, while the number of D and F grades climbed from 17 to 25. Even so, some schools have shown consistently high performance, earning an A or B in each of the past two years from EdNavigator. We congratulate them and encourage parents to give them a look:
- Lusher Charter School (selective enrollment)
- Lake Forest Elementary Charter School (selective enrollment)
- International School of Louisiana
- Audubon Charter School (selective enrollment)
- Alice M. Harte Elementary Charter School
- Edward Hynes Charter School
- Samuel J. Green Charter School
- KIPP Central City Academy
- Lycee Francais de la Nouvelle-Orleans
- KIPP Central City Primary
- KIPP New Orleans Leadership Academy
- Benjamin Franklin Elem. Math and Science (Baby Ben)