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Military Academy board celebrates performance scores

The board of New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy met in a brief meeting Thursday to be updated on academic performance and other planning issues.

Col. Bill Davis passed out a handout detailing the school performance scores of more than 20 area schools, to give board members a sense of where NOMMA stood compared to its peers.

The school scored 85.2 on its performance score, considered a B. This is based solely on student scores on end-of-course exams, since other factors that high schools are graded on involve graduation and ACT performance. NOMMA, having begun with only a ninth grade class and adding a grade level each year to build the school’s military culture, has had only a junior class to take the ACT since the start of this year.

There were an average of 26 percent excellent scores, 46 percent good, 21 percent fair, and 7 percent needs improvement. The school outperformed McMain, Warren Easton, Sci Academy and other open-enrollment high schools on the tests. All of those schools received better overall performance scores, due to factors that won’t be fully measured until NOMMA graduates its first class of seniors in 2015.

Davis pointed said that only selective-enrollment high schools like Benjamin Franklin or Patrick F. Taylor significantly out-performed the school. NOMMA is an open-enrollment school, but with the requirement that students be a part of the school’s military culture by enrolling in the JROTC program.

NOMMA was also recently cited in a Times-Picayune report listing New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy as one of 10 New Orleans high schools that expelled no students in 2012-13. The school has a discipline system in place whereby cadets receive merits and demerits for exemplary or improper behavior, separate from typical punishments like detentions, suspensions and expulsions.

When board members arrived, they found the school’s newly formed wrestling team clearing out their uniforms and personal items from the meeting area. Board president Terry Ebbert spoke to the young wrestlers, saying that he had wrestled from age 9, and up to age 37, in the Marine Corps.

“It’s a great sport,” he said. “It’s not how big or small, wide or thin you are.  The only thing that counts is the size of the heart.”

Coaches thanked Ebbert and the board for their efforts in supporting the team, and presented him with a NOMMA wrestling T-shirt.

Present were board members Maj. Blake LeMaire, Carol McCall, Capt. Marcellus Grace, Lt.Gen. Jack Bergman, Capt. Dave Whiddon, and president Col. Terry Ebbert.  Members James Reiss, Courtney Bagneris and Maj. Gen. Walter Paulson were absent.

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