Class of 2014 ACT Composites for All New Orleans Schools, Public and Private
On January 31, 2015, I wrote a post in which I released New Orleans Class of 2014 ACT scores. I had repeatedly and publicly challenged Louisiana Superintendent John White to release this information, and he refused…
…until after I published my January 31 post.
As one might expect, his version of the RSD ACT composite story differs from mine, and as one also might expect, the overall average composite for his version for the state-run Recovery School District (RSD) schools is more favorable, though certainly not flattering.
He reports that the RSD ACT overall composite “rose” from 16.3 in 2013 to 16.4 in 2014.
My release had the RSD average ACT composite at 15.7.
Neither his nor mine bespeaks “miracle” district.
I compared White’s version of RSD ACT scores to my own published version. According to White, a number of RSD schools have fewer test takers and higher average composite scores than I have noted (e.g., MLK, Cohen College Prep, McDonogh, Joseph Clark, OP Walker, Sci Academy, Lake Area, and Algiers Tech).
Furthermore, White reported a couple of schools as having many more test takers than I found from the ACT class of 2014 information system. I have KIPP Renaissance as having 27 test takers with an average composite of 15.5. White has KIPP at 98 test takers with a 17.9 average composite. Also, I have Sophie Wright as having 18 test takers with a 14.0 average composite, and White has 75 test takers with a 17.1 average composite.
Two huge differences.
Other notable discrepancies include my listing 48 test takers from Landry/Walker (an inactive site code, though used by class of 2014 test takers) with an average composite of 15.6. White does not include it.
I also have Sarah Reed at 86 test takers with an average composite of 15.0. White does not list Sarah Reed at all.
I reported Renew Accel’s nine test takers with an average composite of 14.4. The state does not report schools with fewer than 10 test takers.
On my spreadsheet, I did not include the two online schools, the Net and Crescent Leadership Academy, for they did not show up in an RSD search on the class of 2014 ACT information system. However, they did show up in a comprehensive search of New Orleans schools (both public and private, and GED and home school). According to this comprehensive search, the Net has 21 test takers with an average composite of 13.0; Crescent Leadership has 12 students with an average composite of 14.4.
In this post, I wanted to offer to the public a word on the discrepancies. However, what is clear is that the RSD result even of 16.4 as opposed to 15.7 would require lots of spin in order to nationally market New Orleans all-charter-district as attractive to emulate.
After three years of John White in our now-highly-dysfunctional Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE), I would be foolish to trust any LDOE data product, especially one White was forced to produce in the week after my work put him on the spot. However, I can tell you what I produced with my post of class of 2014 ACT scores.
The reports I have from the class of 2014 ACT information system have not been “sanitized” in any way. I did not remove test takers who planned to graduate but didn’t. I did not move test takers from the school site codes that the test takers/ administrators identified as the site from which the student hailed. In my reporting, I included exact site codes as they were reported– and as they are reported to any higher education institutions nationwide utilizing the class of 2014 ACT information system.
Finally, since my goal is to inform the public, and since I have the information, I have included below the class of 2014 average composite scores for all New Orleans ACT test takers– public, private, GED, home school, and unidentified:
I have organized the scores in an Excel file with two spreadsheets. The first sheet includes all New Orleans test taking sites as identified by class of 2014 test takers and are in order according to ACT site code. The second is a listing of the Diocese of New Orleans schools that are located in New Orleans proper (with mailing addresses as New Orleans, LA).
Data is power. Frankly, Louisiana has too much on the privatizing line for me to keep this information to myself.
All too glad to share.
*Updated 02-07-15: Autofill turned Mount Carmel into two Cabrinis. It is now fixed. The correct “Diocese of NO for NO proper” 2014 average composite is 23.5 for 1543 test takers.
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.