New Orleans recovery district close schools, most students head to other substandard schools

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The vast majority of students leaving four failing schools closed by the Recovery School District are headed to other substandard schools next year.

About 77 percent of students transferring from Abramson Elementary and 72 percent of those transferring from James Weldon Johnson Elementary — both given the letter grade F by the state — are headed to schools graded F or T. For students leaving the smaller Murray Henderson Elementary, it’s about 47 percent.

T-rated schools are failing schools that have been taken over by a new charter operator; the state gives them two years to improve before they assign a standard letter grade. Benjamin E. Mays Preparatory School students, who were given preference in the city’s unified school enrollment process, fare much better: Just 16 percent are headed to F or T schools.

The figures show that the RSD’s special efforts to attend to Mays families – they got first preference in this year’s OneApp – appear to have worked. But for students leaving the RSD’s three other closing schools, the figures show how the state-run entity still has trouble providing academically acceptable options to parents nearly eight years after it took over all of the city’s below-average schools — which included most of them — in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

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