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Most students from closing, failed schools win admission to one of their top choices

Most students who will leave five low-performing schools that will be closed at the end of the school year will be at one of their top choices next year, according to recently released admissions data.

Students leaving A.P. Tureaud Elementary, Benjamin Banneker Elementary and John McDonogh High School fared the best, with more than 90 percent of families getting into one of their top three choices

Close to 90 percent of G.W. Carver High School students got into one of their top choices. For Sarah T. Reed High School students, it was close to 80 percent.

OneApp, the city’s common application process for most schools, allows students to rank up to eight schools. Admissions officials judge applicant satisfaction by looking at how many got into one of their top three schools.

The favorable outcomes are no accident: Students at closing schools, all of which are part of the Recovery School District, got preferential treatment in OneApp this year. That also happened last year with students at Benjamin E. Mays Preparatory School.

This year, Orleans Parish School Board high schools gave special consideration to students leaving closing schools, putting them next in line after siblings of current students.

But the parish didn’t do that for elementary school students. Interim Superintendent Stan Smith said the Recovery School District didn’t ask for preference for elementary schools. Zoey Reed, spokeswoman for the Recovery School District, said there were enough seats in RSD schools.

Last year, the RSD did ask OPSB to give preference to students leaving closing schools, but OPSB didn’t. Smith has said that’s because demand already was so high.

The last time this will happen

RSD has been in a continual process of closing failing schools, turning them over to charters, or chartering new ones for the past several years. But the state-run district is running out of schools to close. Its last two direct-run elementary schools, Tureaud and Banneker, will close this summer due to poor performance.

And though its directly managed high schools, Reed and Carver, were supposed to graduate their last classes next year, RSD sped up their closures. Those schools, too, will close at the end of this school year, Reed confirmed.

That means that the state-run system will be charter-only sooner than anticipated – by this fall.

The troubled John Mac charter, run by charter operator Future is Now, will close at the end of this year so that its building can be renovated. In addition to facilities problems, the school has suffered from low enrollment and poor academic performance.

Future is Now head Steve Barr has said the building’s condition is the sole reason for the school’s closure, but RSD superintendent Patrick Dobard has criticized John Mac’s performance and said that Barr’s group won’t be eligible to manage the school when it reopens.

Top picks

Many applicants ranked schools graded C or better, indicating that school performance is a factor in parent decisions.

McDonogh 35 College Preparatory High School and Eleanor McMain Secondary School were popular choices for students leaving closed high schools. They also favored Lake Area New Tech Early College High School and Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High School, among others.

Many Banneker students ranked the popular Benjamin Franklin Elementary School on their applications, although they were not given special treatment in its admissions. Many Tureaud students ranked KIPP New Orleans Leadership Academy, ARISE Academy and a few others.

Though most students who applied got what they wanted, about 1 in 5 students from John Mac, Carver, and Banneker didn’t pick a school through the OneApp. Closer to 1 in 4 students from Tureaud and Reed didn’t apply. Students who don’t pick a school are assigned to one.

Overall, 80 percent of the city’s students participating in OneApp got one of their top choices.

How students fared

John McDonogh

  • 72 percent of students were assigned to their first choice.

  • 95 percent were assigned to one of their top three choices.

Benjamin Banneker

  • 76 percent of students were assigned to first choice.

  • 94 percent were assigned to one of their top three choices.

 

A.P. Tureaud

  • 85 percent of students were assigned to their first choice.

  • 94 percent were assigned to one of their top three choices.

G.W. Carver

  • 68 percent of students were assigned to their first choice.

  • 87 percent of students were assigned to one of their top three choices.

Sarah T. Reed

  • 57 percent of students were assigned to their first choice.

  • 79 percent of students were assigned to one of their top three choices.

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  • nickelndime

    So wait, what you are telling me is that that NOBEL-prize winning equation that the STATE/LDOE/RSD is using to assign students to schools is

  • nickelndime

    “The favorable outcomes are no accident: Students at closing schools, all of which are part of the Recovery School District, got preferential treatment in OneApp this year. That also happened last year with students at Benjamin E. Mays Preparatory School.” THIS IS CALLED “MESSING WITH THE EQUATION,” and once you do that, you have introduced “HUMAN ERROR” (a/k/a manipulation). Speaking of HUMAN ERROR, where is G.F. who is in charge of the State/RSD OneApp? And, why is she not mentioned in this article? I am calling for a game-plan change! Hello, THE LENS!