A Look Inside New Orleans’ Schools Run Almost Entirely by Charter
STATESBORO, Ga., Sept. 3, 2014 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Twenty-seven out of New Orleans’ 56 district-run schools have been taken over by a private charter company and are now operated by an independent operator, State Superintendent John White recently announced.
New Orleans became one of the most dynamic and diverse school districts in the country after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in 2005, according to Mr. White. The Recovery School District (RSD) was created in 2007 to attempt to restore the community-based school system that Katrina destroyed.
“It is a nationally recognized fact that parents want their children in schools with high-quality teaching and learning,” said Governor Jindal. “More and more parents are choosing charter schools instead of district schools. The more students we have in quality charter schools, the more parents can focus on other priorities in their lives.”
In 2013 alone, 80 percent of charter school graduates were accepted to four-year colleges, 20 percent of students at New Orleans Recovery public schools were awarded grants and awards totaling $33 million, and 86 percent of Recovery School District high school students were accepted to college, as compared to 28 percent of local district students, according to Louisiana Department of Education figures.
“We are pleased that parents are seeing the benefits of Louisiana’s innovative charter school law,” said Jay Boyar, President of Horizon Charter Schools. “Virtually every one of Horizon’s schools is fully accredited, and almost all offer a full range of post-secondary educational options for our students.”
In a letter to the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE), Mr. White said more than 53 percent of Louisiana students now attend charter schools, compared to less than 5 percent prior to 2005. Mr. White noted that in 2005, 13 percent of Louisiana students were attending private schools. A decade later, 25 percent of Louisiana students are now attending private schools, while 48 percent are attending charter schools.
These facts and figures do not indicate necessarily that private schools outperform public schools, but rather that parents choose private schools, in large part, for its rigorous curriculum and the opportunities it provides. Many parents cite high tuition as a reason for their child’s choice.
“The trend toward parents wanting their children in quality charter schools continues,” Mr. White stated. “As parents see charter schools not only perform better than traditional public schools, but also deliver an array of additional benefits, they are becoming more and more comfortable with the idea. And now, with the majority of the New Orleans charters non-district-run, we will have an opportunity to monitor, improve and evaluate their progress. We must set the highest standards of excellence for these charter schools, because they are on the shoulders of the community.”
*An independent administrator operates 28 district-run public schools.
*The more than 57,000 children currently attending charters throughout Louisiana are public school students who choose a charter school rather than joining a public school or public charter school.
*Charter school students outperform their district peers on the state’s standardized testing.
*About Horizon Academies
Horizon Academies provides public schools throughout Southern Louisiana, where 30 of its 31 schools are fully accredited. The teachers and staff are all trained in a carefully crafted curriculum which focuses on academic excellence in a small and diverse environment, using a higher grade-by-grade structure.
News issued by: Horizon Academies
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Original Story ID: 2014-09-0903-001 (9295) :: a-look-inside-new-orleans-schools-run-almost-entirely-by-charter-companies_2014-09-0903-001
Original Keywords: Horizon Academies, Jay Boyar, the Recovery School District, Louisiana Department of Education, charter school operators, high-quality teaching and learning, testing, New Orleans public schools, Sunshine Academies, Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Horizon Academies Statesboro Georgia STATESBORO, Ga.
Alternate Headline: Horizon Academies: Are more parents choosing charter schools over traditional public schools?
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