2 New Orleans high schools say they're 'full' — then enroll more students

Matthew Zalaznick's picture
Monday, November 25, 2013

After declaring all ninth-grade seats filled for 2013-14, disappointing hundreds of applicants, two of New Orleans' most popular public high schools quietly admitted at least 85 more students to their freshmen classes, according to new data from the Recovery School District. The late admissions came after Eleanor McMain Secondary and McDonogh 35 Senior High left the centralized, anonymous OneApp system that is designed to ensure schools enroll students fairly and don't hide empty seats from the public.

As such, the data raises troubling questions about whether these two schools are truly "open admission" campuses or are secretly cherry-picking students. "I think it's a fact that school leaders of certain schools are deciding who gets a seat, and I don't think that's serving students well," said Caroline Roemer Shirley, head of the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools.

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