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State-run New Orleans School Scores 7.2 on ACT in 2015 (You Read It Right)

February 11, 2016

In July 2015, Louisiana Superintendent John White had his Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) release this file of 2014-2015 Louisiana ACT 12th Grade Results by district— which he used to advance the message that the state-run Recovery School District (RSD) in New Orleans had a Class of 2015 ACT composite score of 16.6.

RSD New Orleans’ average ACT composite saw its heyday in 2012, at which point it maxed at a state-advertised 16.8. In 2013, no fanfare for the state-acknowledged drop to 16.3. Then, in 2014, White tried not to release Class of 2014 average ACT scores, but he did so in February 2015– and he listed the RSD New Orleans Class of 2014 average ACT composite as 16.4.

So, while not fabulous, that July 2015 LDOE release of info leading the public to believe that RSD New Orleans’ Class of 2015 had at least recouped another two-tenths of a point from 2014 at least showed the average was headed in the right direction.

In that July 2015 release, White also listed the Class of 2015 average state ACT composite as 19.4– allegedly up two-tenths of a point from 2014.


According to 2014-15 school and district report cards, which were released in October 2015, the RSD New Orleans average ACT composite was not the July-advertised 16.6 but instead, 15.6.

And the two-tenths of state “improvement”?

According to the 2014-15 school and district report cards, it didn’t happen. State average of 19.2 in 2014 remains constant for 2015.

LDOE has yet to release a comprehensive data file of Class of 2015 average ACT composite scores by district and school within district. It is mid-February 2016, and I pushed this issue in an email to White and the state board members on February 05, 2016.

In that exchange, White noted that the ACT composites by district and school within district are already public as part of the school report cards.

Of course, it is easy to hide such info in plain sight from those seeking a consolidated data file.

He wrote that the comprehensive Excel file would be posted “next week.”

Well. It’s Thursday of that “next week.” So, we’ll see.

However, I decided to dig through those 2014-15 RSD New Orleans high school report cards and compile information on RSD New Orleans Class of 2015 average ACT scores.

On the report cards, LDOE notes, “Average ACT score is based on all enrolled twelfth grade students.”

So, let’s begin.

According to the 2014-15 report cards posted on LDOE’s website, state-run RSD New Orleans has 11 schools that had a 12th grade in 2014-15.

The average ACT composite score for the 2014-15 enrolled seniors at these schools is 15.6.

Not 16.6.


Furthermore, there is quite a spread in these scores– from 7.2 (not a typo) to 19.6– with only one of the 11 schools being over the 2014-15 state average of 19.2:

RSD New Orleans schools’ Class of 2015 average ACT composite scores, ranging from lowest to highest:

ReNew Accel Westbank  7.2

Crescent Leadership Academy 10.0

The NET 11.2

Landry Walker 14.8

Joseph Clark Prep 15.1

Algiers Technology 15.6

Cohen College Prep 17.1

MLK Charter for Sci/Tech 17.7

Sophie Wright 18.4

KIPP Renaissance 18.6

Sci Academy 19.6

Note that these are the average ACT composite scores for all enrolled seniorsThe average.

Note also that the state has been running the RSD show full force since 2006— which means that these students have been educated primarily by the state running the show.

As for Sci Academy’s marvelous average: In 2014, I noted discrepancies between what the ACT information system had regarding the number of 2014 seniors identifying as attending Sci Academy and increased numbers once the state released its scores. (Discrepancies were true for a number of schools.)

Finally, we see Landry-Walker with its 14.8 composite. Landry-Walker is in the news for rampant cheating on End of Course (EOC) tests in 2013-14. But their amazing EOC results did not jibe with other indices, including course grades. Nor do they parallel Landry-Walker’s ACT results.

A word to states like Georgia and North Carolina that are looking to Louisiana as a model state-run district:

15.6, guys. Ten years out. 15.6.

missed target


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 also has a second book, Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?.

both books

Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.

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