The NOLA Public Schools district has hired Paige Jackson as a Director of School Accountability, according to a district organizational chart. The district now has three such directors. 

Jackson will monitor several charter schools and their compliance with charter contracts, district policy and state and federal laws in the role. The annual reviews conducted by these employees look at teaching certifications, signage, and a small sample of student files. Jackson worked for the Louisiana Department of Education from August 2017 until March, a state spokeswoman confirmed.

Jackson joins Toni Pickett and Danalyn Hypolite in the role. Their names can be frequently found on annual reviews of charter schools and the public warning letters that go out to the organizations. Former school accountability director Gayla Mair left the position between the beginning of December and January, according to district organizational charts

The directors “play a major role in quality oversight of school performance in New Orleans,” a job description posted in November states. Additionally, the employee “will be charged with managing the annual reviews and ongoing monitoring and oversight” of the district’s Charter School Accountability Framework and other requirements for a specific set of charter schools. 

“This will require consistent reviews of school performance data and the development of recommendations for next steps the district should take in its oversight of schools,” the job description said.

Jackson is introducing herself to schools this week, likely through phone calls and virtual board meetings as schools remain shuttered under Gov. John Bel Edwards’ school closure order

It’s unclear to what extent the shutdown has affected charter school monitoring but the district was not able to complete a second round of reviews of high school student files. That process began last fall after the graduation scandal at John F. Kennedy High School. In response to that, the district created a new position, assistant director of high school accountability, specifically to review and monitor high schools and their student files. 

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...