In spite of what we hear out of Washington these days, I still believe there are such things as facts. You know, honest-to-goodness stuff that can not be refuted. Like a day is 24 hours long or a foot is 12 inches.
So as I sat in an overflowing room at the Statehouse yesterday listening to the back and forth about the merits–or demerits–of making changes to Alabama’s charter school bill, there were moments when it was obvious real facts were probably in short supply. One was when House member Rod Scott of Jefferson County stated that most schools in New Orleans today are charter schools that are less than outstanding.
Committee chair and sponsor of the bill in question, member Terri Collins vigorously shook her head in disagreement with Scott’s statement.
So I decided to find out for myself.
You begin by going here to the Louisiana state department of education web site and pulling up 2016 school performance scores. Scroll down to schools listed in Orleans/Recovery school district to get letter grades for schools. You can even go here to dig deeper in each school’s score.
Then check out this list of charters in the New Orleans Recovery School District to cross check info.
Here’s what I found:
There are 45 identified charter schools in the list just above that have letter grade scores on the state department web site. How are they doing?
Not so well it appears.
There is only one A school, four rated as B, 19 as C, 14 as D, and seven as F.
So only 11 percent are A or B. And it’s hard to crow from the rooftop about how well charters are doing in New Orleans. And seems to me that member Collins was shaking her head in the wrong direction.
I am reminded of several years ago when Governor Bentley visited three charters in New Orleans and came back to Alabama proclaiming that Louisiana was 15 years ahead of Alabama in education. Turns out the three schools were ranked C, D and F. Which helps make the point I hammer on all the time–when it comes to education, we would be far better served to listen to educators instead of politicians.