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Louisiana’s Class of 2014 ACT Scores Are In This Post

January 31, 2015

Today I made a new friend. This new friend works in admissions at one of Louisiana’s institutes of higher education. My new friend informed me that the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) is not the only entity to which ACT sends score reports. It turns out that ACT sells the same score information to college and university admissions offices.

It also turns out that my new friend has connections within a Louisiana post-secondary admissions office.

The short of it is that I now have the Class of 2014 ACT composite scores for all Louisiana districts as well as the composite scores for all Recovery School District (RSD) and Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) high schools.

And now, you have them, as well, because I created the following Excel file to share with the public:

Louisiana Class of 2014 ACT Scores

In the above file, I created three sheets. The first includes the following information by Louisiana school district:

ACT district code; district name; number of 2014 ACT test takers; 2014 average ACT composite score, and (for comparison) 2013 average ACT composite score.

The second and third spreadsheets are for RSD and OPSB high schools, respectively. Most RSD schools are in New Orleans. One is in Point Coupee, and two, in Baton Rouge. The following information is on the second and third spreadsheets:

ACT school code; school name; number of 2014 ACT test takers, and 2014 average composite score.

There is a reason Louisiana Superintendent John White has refused to release these scores to the public:

The Class of 2014 ACT composite scores for RSD do nothing to support the now-ten-year-old sales pitch that The Reforms Are Working in New Orleans.

The Class of 2013 ACT composite for RSD was 16.3.

The Class of 2014 ACT composite for all RSD high schools was 15.6. For RSD-New Orleans high schools, it was 15.7.

Here is a breakdown of 2014 average ACT composite scores for each RSD-New Orleans high school:

MLK Charter:  14.7

GW Carver: 14.3

Cohen College Prep: 17.4

John McDonogh High: 13.8

Joseph Clark:  13.9

Landry/Walker:  15.6*

KIPP Renaissance:  15.5

Miller-McCoy:  15.2

OP Walker:  17.3*

Sarah Reed:  15.0

Sophie B. Wright  14.0

RENEW Accelerated:  13.4

Sci Academy:  16.6

Thurgood Marshall:  15.8**

Walter Cohen:  12.3

Algiers Tech:  14.5

RENEW Accelerated West Bank:  14.4

(*Should be combined as a single school.  **Renamed Lake Area Tech.)

I’m thinking there must be more to educating New Orleans students that “turning over” schools.

Out of 70 Louisiana public school districts listed, the state-run RSD ranked 66 in Class of 2014 ACT average composite scores. The four districts scoring lower were much smaller than RSD-New Orleans:

Madison: 67 test takers; 15.3 average composite for 2014.

St. Helena: 53 test takers; 15.4 average composite for 2014.

Tensas: 32 test takers; 15.3 average composite for 2014.

City of Baker: 115 test takers; 15.2 average composite for 2014.

RSD: All RSD: 1342 test takers; 15.6 average composite for 2014, with RSD-NO having 1151 test takers and an average composite of 15.7 for 2014.

These RSD-NO ACT scores aren’t useful for selling the test-score-driven, state-takeover, charter-conversion model John White is so fond of. And so what does the state super who cries “accountability” do?

He hides the scores from public view.

The RSD Class of 2014 was in third grade when Katrina hit. The state has been in charge of their education since then, and this is what they have to show for their test-score-driven, charter-friendly, Teach-for-America-friendly, so-called “education.”

Nothing remotely touching “college ready.”

A sham.


Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of the ed reform whistle blower, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education.

She is also doing some fundraising related to her second book on the history, development, and promotion of Common Core, due for release in May 2015.   GoFundMe: Schneider



  1. Gene Glass permalink

    Really nice job, Mercedes

    _________________________ Gene V Glass Emeritus Regents’ Professor Arizona State University

    -Sent from my mobile-

  2. Eric Brandon permalink

    Thanks for the data. I applaud your efforts to hold “reformers” accountable.

  3. twinkie1cat permalink

    thank you. Don’t you need at least a 19 to get into any 4 year college?

    • 19 might gain conditional admission. LSU requires a 22 with at least a 19 in math and an 18 in English.

  4. permalink

    Mercedes, This is getting rushed through & comments close Mon. There’s some anti CC people that believe this is a GOOD thing. When it’s really more deceit.

    Can you please look into it and spread the word…fast?

    from Anita Hoges and Charlotte Iserbyt…

    “…This ESEA bill is the equivalent of ObamaCare, but far worse since, if it passes, it is the end of freedom in the USA. It will result in lifelong womb-to-tomb government control using Skinnerian behavior modification for values change and for global workforce training. All of this due to tax-funded school “choice” (the death of private education), and charter schools with no elected boards, necessary for global workforce training.

    We citizens of the United States were mislead into believing the hearings on the Alexander Reauthorization of ESEA were not to commence until late March, 2015!”


  5. Smart Mom permalink

    I bet there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth within the LDOE when they read this blog!
    and probably prayers that the media doesn’t read it, too! 🙂

    • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was waiting for this post. 😉

      • Smart Mom permalink

        Sweet!!! They should put you on their payroll!

      • Tamara permalink

        I haven’t seen this info on the AJC. Have they run it yet?

      • Not yet. They are using it in a bigger story on RSD. We’ll see what comes of it.

  6. Mercedes, again, you did a great job finding this information. But, obviously, this should make us all sad. These scores show to the world that charters and their affair with Common Core create anything but college and career ready students. For over two decades, I have tutored high school students (public) in New York to take the ACT . Many of the students who I tutor have learning disabilities and yet I can get them to score in every one of the four sub-tests twenty and over. There are three good reasons why my students have gotten such scores.. One, they all come from solid middle class families and two, the public high schools they go to are made up of middle class students with parents who will hire someone like me to make sure they get the best possible grade. Finally, disabled or not, they all had pretty strong cognitive skills. Charters can fudge a lot of things, but you cannot fudge the skills needed (extrinsic and intrinsic) to do well on such a test.

  7. Reblogged this on The Public Educator and commented:
    I had to re-blog this article from Mercedes Schneider about the dismal ACT results from New Orleans Recovery School District. Here is America’s only all charter school district graduating students with ACT scores that do not even come close to college level. If anything is proof of the failure of this charter experience, it is right before your eyes.

  8. What is the minimum ACT score considered “ready for college”?

    • ulyankee permalink

      This is a trick question because the subscores in English and math have much more weight in Louisiana four year college admissions. All the state universities now require that new freshmen are college eligible in English (18) AND math (19). Most of the time the composite isn’t considered unless the student doesn’t have the requisite core GPA or graduated from a non-Louisiana high school. The math subscore is the greatest barrier to four year state university admission.

  9. Reblogged this on Cloaking Inequity and commented:
    The John White/TFA/state takeover circus in Louisiana continues… See also: LA and the Recovery School District approach (SB1718): A P.T. Barnum Circus

  10. Joe permalink

    To be a little more fair, not all of these kids were in LA immediately after or the couple years after Katrina.

    Also, not saying you don’t make a good point, but you can’t say that test scores are a horrible way to evaluate teachers and schools in some posts then use scores on a test that a large percentage of these kids couldn’t care less about to call these schools not doing a good job.

    • Here’s the deal, Joe: John White has pushed test scores as THE measure, then he hides them when they don’t serve him. And even if these kids did not return for a couple of years, that’s still fifth grade, a point I made in a previous post on the issue.

      It is time for John White to be measured by the measure he promotes.

      • Joe permalink

        I’m all for it. I just think that’s what you need to say rather than bash the schools when evaluating them using the same metric.

        And you didn’t exactly present promising data from traditional districts at similar poverty levels when using the ACT as the evaluator.

        Not saying what you and the others who oppose ‘reform’ are saying and presenting isn’t true. Using test scores to evaluate effectiveness is silly, but I think the point you make for me is tarnished when you use the same evaluation style to throw it back in his face. Gotta be a better way.

      • I did say that “I’m thinking there must be more to educating New Orleans students than ‘turning over’ schools.” You just missed it.

        I am not “bashing” anyone except the test-driven reform set. They set the rules then want to be excused from those rules.

        Believe me that the point I made is not tarnished for those who wish this post had not been published.

    • Cosmic Tinker permalink

      It is absolutely fair to call out John White for concealing these abysmal standardized test scores, especially when Arne Duncan has said that Katrina was the best thing to happen to New Orleans, because it resulted in “reformers” taking over the district, firing thousands of veteran teachers and handing off schools to privately run charters that employ many inexperienced, 5 week trained TFAers.

      Duncan holds up RSD as a model to the nation, which he urges other cities to copy, so people across the country have a right to know what’s in store 10 years down the road after so many schools in a district have been privatized. With high profile people like Oprah devoting an entire series to John McDonogh High, which averaged 13.8 on the ACT, virtually every “reformer” praising KIPP, with its 15.5, and so many lauding TFA, it is no wonder that former TFAer John White would hide the truth and refuse to hold to the same accountability and transparency standards required of genuine educators. However, when this is our government’s primary prescription for dealing with poverty, citizens need to know that it is NOT, in fact, a viable solution to poverty.

      Truly excellent job, Mercedes!! Thank you so much!

  11. Awesome information Mercedes! Help us meet our goal today! We have raised $1845 our of $1950 for Mercedes to continue her research on CCSS. We need your help to contribute or get the word out. Every little bit helps. Thanks!

  12. whoops wrong link! up to $1855 now!

  13. “Many of the students who I tutor have learning disabilities and yet I can get them to score in every one of the four sub-tests twenty and over.”

    Well, if they’re all middle class (and probably white), so what? That’s about average.

    The average black composite ACT is 16.9, and the kids in New Orleans are predominantly black. However, the black composite for kids taking “Core” (not common core, just academic core) is 17.5 or so.

    These scores are in no way a happy picture, and are pretty typical for high poverty black majority schools and evidence that recovery has done nothing to improve school over “traditional”.

  14. We made our gofundme goal for Mercedes. Thank you everyone!

  15. Ken Previti permalink

    Reblogged this on Reclaim Reform and commented:
    “These RSD-NO ACT scores aren’t useful for selling the test-score-driven, state-takeover, charter-conversion model John White is so fond of. And so what does the state super who cries ‘accountability’ do?
    He hides the scores from public view…
    A sham.”

  16. Beth Apppleton permalink

    Would you happen to know if the private school scores are factored into the average composite scores? I was told that they were. Wondering what effect this would have on the scores…inflated perhaps???

    • Yes, all test takers are in the average.

      Without the private schools, I estimate the composite will drop to 18-ish. I have not yet exactly calculated it.

  17. No surprise here! Have followed this sham since 2006 when family and friends returned home. Dissertation defense, 2001, University of New Orleans.

  18. Stefanny permalink

    Am I missing something? What curriculum has been taught since Katrina? LCC? Where can I find the number of uncertified teachers at these schools? Are we blaming the teachers, the curriculum, or the management? Where is the solution?

    • The entire setup is one of “disruptive reform”– of closing and reopening schools (if one charter doesn’t work, no problem, just open another), of temp teachers and teaching to the test, of refusal to properly audit the schools, of a need to investigate whether courses are being taught at all and who is teaching those courses.

      The solution begins with an audit and community meetings as to what community members want. For example, the community was not asked whether it wanted its community schools closed. It was just done.

    • Cosmic Tinker permalink

      I don’t know where all that data can be found, but you can see how TFA tauts its supposed success in New Orleans and provides info about their numbers there on the TFA website here:

  19. Trish B permalink

    Interesting. Not surprised White has been concealing these scores. Have you considered how forcing all students to take the ACT has impacted the scores? I’m sure it’s negatively. Do you think it would be possible to determine the impact?

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. The Common Core Weekend Reads – 2-1-15 | Lady Liberty 1885
  2. So You Want Evidence of Choice and Charter Problems?
  3. The Case of the Disappearing Data | EduShyster
  4. Atlanta Planning to Become an All-Charter District | Diane Ravitch's blog
  5. John White’s Spinning Wheel of ACT Scores: More Students Are Qualified to Go to College Except When They Actually Try to Go | LA Higher Ed Confessions
  6. New Orleans Recover School District Test Scores: A Closer Look Doesn't Look Pretty — The Art of Teaching Science
  7. A Community Resource on the Recovery School District | whodatresearcher
  8. Resources on the Mis-Education of the “Recovery” School District* | whodatresearcher
  9. Louisiana’s Class of 2014 ACT Scores Are In This Post | WhatRecovery
  10. Louisiana’s 2015 District ACT Composite Scores | deutsch29
  11. Campbell Brown Hearts NOLA Charters | Live Long and Prosper
  12. Flood of Lies: Education reform crescendo at #Katrina10? | Cloaking Inequity
  13. Cade Brumley Is Louisiana’s New Superintendent. What LDOE Chaos Has He Inherited? | deutsch29

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