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Class of 2014 ACT Composites for All New Orleans Schools, Public and Private

February 7, 2015

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.



  1. Wonderful information Mercedes.

  2. ira shor permalink

    Great exposure of White’s manipulating data to make his failures into bogus “successes.” Can I pls ask: About KIPP Renaissance–his data lists many more test-takers at higher scores–is it at all possible that KIPP cooperated with White’s dilemma by testing more kids in the weeks he refused to release scores, producing a selective batch of higher scores to help rescue White from the fire of his own making? White’s long delay in releasing scores gave him time for a lot of off-stage manipulation.

  3. Jan Kasal permalink

    Knowledge & action equals power. Kudos to your research skills. Thank you for informing the public.

  4. Beth Apppleton permalink

    OMG!!!You are awesome!!! Thank you for this information. I don’t see Chapelle on the list, however there are 2 Cabrini’s listed. Also, is there any way you could get BR/Jefferson Parish scores??? Needing them ASAP!

    • Beth Apppleton permalink

      I meant Mt. Carmel…not Chapelle.

      • Beth, thanks for the heads-up on this. I had a problem with Autofill wanting to turn Mount Carmel into Cabrini. I caught it on one page but not the other. It is now corrected. Mount Carmel had 246 test takers with a 2014 average composite of 25.2.

        I also corrected my total number of “Diocese of NO in NO proper” 2014 test takers: 1543 students with an average composite of 23.5.

  5. ulyankee permalink

    As an FYI – White may be reporting on test takers in multiple graduating classes. He could also be reporting on test takers taking the March only (state) test. You are reporting on ALL test takers of just the Louisiana Class of 2014, including their scores from the March state date and national ACT dates. This corresponds with how ACT reports its own data… by graduating class. It includes ALL test takers and ALL their score reports since students often take the test multiple times–especially in our state if they are trying to get minimum admission scores and/or trying to get TOPS. This could possibly account for the discrepancy.

    Here’s a link to the ACT Class of 2014 profile report for Louisiana in case anyone is interested:

    Click to access Louisiana.pdf

    Also note that White is probably also reporting off individual score reports rather than from a subscription data analysis product. There is a reason why the ACT does not have raw data available to institutions who subscribe to its data products (mostly individual higher ed institutions, although other entities like system boards or Boards of Regents can get them too)… for CONSISTENCY and VALIDITY. Everything will add up to its national and state reports which it releases publicly. That’s how one knows they are VALID and based on ACT’s own data.

    The only way an institution gets individual score reports (the closest thing to raw data available from ACT) is when it gets score reports on its OWN students. A college ONLY gets score reports from students who request that those scores be sent to its own institution. If a parent or student doesn’t want a college to get this information, they don’t get it. If they don’t want institutions to purchase their names, they don’t opt in. LOFSA is another entity that receives individual score reports to determine if students are eligible for TOPS. The subscription enrollment planning products that it sells to higher ed institutions are not the same as the raw data that institutions get on their own students because all the personally identifying information has been stripped from the score reports plus the ACT locks down data files that no one outside the ACT can get in for security reasons. These products only generate precanned reports based on preset filters. It allows institutions to use these powerful data for enrollment and recruitment planning without sacrificing students’ privacy.

    In LDOE’s case, since all Louisiana test takers are “their” students, they are probably getting the entire state’s raw score reports with student identifiers. But any analyses done on those raw score reports will only match the ACT’s if (1) you are truly getting them ALL (and they may not be getting them ALL–for example, they may not be getting home schoolers or students not in LDOE registered programs) and (2) you are doing the exact same analysis in the exact same way as the ACT does. What is the N? Does it match the ACT Class Profile Report? That’s how you know it is the same… or not.

    Regarding ACT/CEEB (high school) codes and labels: they have not fully kept up with the changes in New Orleans schools BTW, but there is a reason. While all the new schools are assigned CEEB codes, preexisting codes associated with the old school/location may or may not transition over to the new school/operator. That’s why there are still orphaned codes and codes for closed schools. Old CEEB codes have to remain active so that as students graduate and send scores to colleges it reflects where they actually graduated… particularly for students still requesting their scores in the years after graduation. So that explains why Landry-Walker is still under two sets of CEEB codes (I believe OP Walker’s is the master CEEB that will remain active), why Lake Area is still labeled Thurgood Marshall UNO (the old name of the school), etc. Note that LDOE’s own high school codes are not the same as national CEEB codes. There are crosswalks between the two but even annual updates didn’t keep up with Louisiana and New Orleans school changes for a while. There could be multiple CEEB codes for one location (Capital High in Baton Rouge is one example… I think there are 4 codes active for that particular school). SO… this is another issue that can affect consistency between LDOE’s reports and ACT.

  6. Candyce Watsey permalink

    Thank you, Mercedes, for continuing to publish the truth. John White ought to be ashamed of himself, but I doubt he has that capacity. Thanks for forcing a response from him; a response that once again shows his willingness to spin and skew numbers , even in the face of the actual unvarnished data.

  7. ulyankee permalink

    AHA!!!! The ACT scores on Louisiana Believes are ONLY from state testing!

    “2013-14 ACT data were calculated using the Best Score methodology from statewide testing.”

    These were apparently calculated from score reports, and were not calculated the same way ACT does. So they will not match the ACT Class of 2014 Profile Report.

    Best Score = likely means superscoring (so taking the best score, not averaging all scores)
    ACT = ALL scores

    Now in truth, some higher ed institutions use superscoring in admissions.

    However, if you are going to use ACT scores for data reporting, it’s probably best to use the same methodology as the ACT.

    PLUS, this isn’t everyone, and this isn’t all score reports either. JUST the March test scores.

  8. Beth Appleton permalink

    Would it be possible to get the EBR and Jefferson Parish scores? Many people are interested in seeing them as well.

    • Beth, I have all of these scores, but they are not formatted. As I am able to format them, I will publish them. Stay tuned. 🙂

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