Where to Go Next for New Orleans Schools? Voters Don't Know

Monday, April 29, 2013

A new poll from the Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives at Tulane found no consensus over which entity should govern the schools long-term: The School Board or the state Recovery School District, which took over most of the city's schools after Hurricane Katrina.

Respondents were divided over when and whether schools should return to local control, and whether they trusted the Orleans Parish School Board to run schools more effectively than it did pre-Katrina. And a racial divide persists, with African American respondents more positive about OPSB and less positive about charter takeovers.

An apparent major drop from 2011 in the number of people who think schools have improved since Katrina is misleading, said Cowen Institute lead researcher Debra Vaughan, because the two reports didn't poll the same group of people. The 2011 report surveyed public school parents, who typically have much higher opinions of public education than the general populace, Vaughan said. Results from Cowen's parents poll are scheduled to come out next month.

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