Four of the Recovery School District’s failing schools will not reopen next year. In most cases, those students will be at other substandard schools. About three-quarters of students leaving Abramson Elementary James Weldon Johnson Elementary are headed to schools graded F or T, which are failing schools that are under new operators. The exception: Benjamin E. Mays Preparatory School students, who were offered preference in RSD’s enrollment process.
For students at four New Orleans schools, the end of the school year means the end of their school. Such closures are part of a plan to pare down the number of schools in a smaller city. Critics say the lack of stability hurt students; accountability advocates say it’s better than letting them languish.
The federal No Child Left Behind law mandates that children at failing schools are given the opportunity to attend better ones. But more than seven years into the New Orleans choice experiment, schools are so academically anemic that the transfer options aren’t much better — and in some cases, they’re just as bad.