36 RSD charter schools now eligible to return to local School Board control

Three dozen Recovery School District charter schools are eligible to return to the control of the Orleans Parish School Board next academic year — more than double the number eligible this time last year.

The growing number indicates the Recovery district is doing exactly what it was intended to do: foster academic recovery. But the improved schools have wanted nothing to do with the School Board in the past, for a variety of reasons.

They have two more months to reach a decision about next school year.

The official eligibility list was released this week by the Recovery School District, but schools likely were aware of their status already based on scores released last month.

Last year, 17 eligible schools decided not to move to the auspices of the School Board, and instead maintained their status under RSD governance. This year an even greater proportion, 36 of RSD’s 57 local charters schools, will have to make that decision.

Two RSD schools in Baton Rouge are also eligible to return to their original district.

The return process was originally intended to occur when a school demonstrated it was no longer failing. But a 2010 state-level policy change allows charter schools to decide if they want to return to local control.

Charter school boards are beginning to discuss the possible return, and will continue to do so over the next two months. The 36 schools are overseen by 20 charter school boards, meaning some charter networks have multiple eligible schools.

Charters must notify the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education of their decision by Jan. 5. The state school board has not received yet any decisions from charter operators, spokesman Kevin Calbert said.

The New Beginnings Schools Foundation board voted last year to keep Lake Area New Tech Early College High School under RSD control. On Monday night, the charter network’s board will discuss moving three of its four charter schools to the oversight of the School Board.

New Beginnings’ board agenda lists a discussion and vote on the transfer of Lake Area New Tech Early College High School, Medard Nelson Elementary School and Gentilly Terrace Elementary School.

The agenda also includes a presentation by Orleans Parish School Board representatives.

New Beginnings was the first organization to charter a Recovery district school in New Orleans, taking control of Pierre Capdau Elementary in 2004. Capdau is the only network charter school not eligible for transfer. The school showed remarkable progress this year, though, jumping from a performance score of an F to a B.

The board meets Monday at 5:30 p.m. at Lake Area high school.

Eligible Schools (Governing board):

Akili Academy (Crescent City Schools)

Arise Academy (Arise Academy)

Arthur Ashe Charter School (Firstline Schools, Inc.)

Capitol High School (Friendship Louisiana, Inc.)**

Cohen College Prep (New Orleans College Preparatory Academies)

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School for Science and Technology (Friends of King Schools)

Dwight D. Eisenhower Elementary School (Algiers Charter Schools Association, Inc.)

Edgar P. Harney Spirit of Excellence Academy (Spirit of Excellence Academy, Inc.)

Esperanza Charter School (Choice Foundation)

Fannie C. Williams Charter School (Community Leaders Advocating Student Success)

Gentilly Terrace Elementary School (New Beginnings Schools Foundation)

Harriet Tubman Charter School (Crescent City Schools)

James M. Singleton Charter School (Dryades YMCA)

John Dibert Community School (Firstline Schools, Inc.)

Kenilworth Science and Technology Charter School (Pelican Educational Foundation, Inc.)**

KIPP Believe College Prep (KIPP New Orleans, Inc.)

KIPP Central City Academy (KIPP New Orleans, Inc.)

KIPP Central City Primary (KIPP New Orleans, Inc.)

KIPP McDonogh 15 School for the Creative Arts (KIPP New Orleans, Inc.)

Lafayette Academy (Choice Foundation)

Lagniappe Academy of New Orleans (Lagniappe Academies of New Orleans, Inc.)

Lake Area New Tech Early College High School (New Beginnings Schools Foundation)

Langston Hughes Academy Charter School (Firstline Schools, Inc.)

Landry-Walker College and Career Preparatory High School (Algiers Charter School Association, Inc.)

Martin Behrman Elementary School (Algiers Charter School Association, Inc.)

Mary D. Coghill Charter School (Better Choice Foundation)

McDonogh #32 Elementary School (Algiers Charter School Association, Inc.)

McDonogh City Park Academy (New Orleans Charter Schools Foundation)

Morris Jeff Community School (Morris Jeff Community School)

Medard Nelson Elementary School (New Beginnings Schools Foundation)

ReNEW Cultural Arts Academy at Live Oak (ReNEW)

ReNEW Dolores T. Aaron Elementary (ReNEW)

ReNEW SciTech Academy (ReNEW)

Samuel J. Green Charter School (Firstline Schools, Inc.)

Sci Academy (Collegiate Academies)

Sophie B. Wright Learning Academy (Institute for Academic Success)

Success Preparatory Academy (Success Preparatory Academy)

William J. Fischer Elementary School (Algiers Charter School Association, Inc.)

**Schools in East Baton Rouge Parish


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About Marta Jewson

Marta Jewson covers education in New Orleans for The Lens. She began her reporting career covering charter schools for The Lens and helped found the hyperlocal news site Mid-City Messenger. Jewson returned to New Orleans in the fall of 2014 after covering education for the St. Cloud Times in Minnesota. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with majors in journalism and social welfare and a concentration in educational policy studies.

  • nickelndime

    Before I go into a tailspin, and it’s going to happen anyway, because this goes back to the corruption of the “recovery” process designed by Paul Pastorek (and Miss Leslie) and the ever increasing incompetency of the state board of education (BESE) and the greedy, corrupt Louisiana lawmakers (I use that term loosely), BUT if a “school” decides to return to local control, does control of the “lease” (and the money decisions) also return to local control? I am going to repeat that: DOES THE LEASE AND CONTROL OF THE BUILDING AND THE MONEY DECISIONS ALSO RETURN TO LOCAL CONTROL IF AN ELIGIBLE SCHOOL RETURNS? Now, I do not have to tell you (collectively speaking) that these CMOs are already under the covers (snugly wrapped and intertwined) with the RSD (federal money, grants and special treatment – more takeover decisions, more schools, more schools), so it is highly unlikely CMOs (with multiple schools in tow) will decide to let any of their schools go, which gives new meaning to the phrase that the OPSB is going to use, “Let my people go!” Because if these schools do go, the last thing anybody wants are local schools occupying buildings that the RSD can throw them out of – say, for example if charter boards run into problems like ethics violations, alleged rapes, grand larceny, etc. and these are then OPSB-controlled charters in RSD-lease-controlled buildings.

  • will_k2

    Maybe the charters aren’t moving back because of some gigantic conspiracy. Or maybe it’s because the OPSB is a dumpster fire.

  • nickelndime

    Here are some “C” words for you, will_…, but before I begin, let me say that at least you are reading and are interested, which is a lot more than the usual activity: “Charters,” “CMO,” “CEO,” “CFO,” “COO,” “CAO,” “Contracts,” “Common Core – CC,” “Curriculum,” “Coordinators,” “C Letter Grade,” “Corruption,” and the one you added (because you were making fun of me), “Conspiracy” (but that’s not one I would have picked).