May 16, 2013

New Schools for Baton Rouge, LSU Partnering to Review Charter School Applicants

BATON ROUGE, La. – Today New Schools for Baton Rouge (NSBR) announced a partnership with a team from Louisiana State University (LSU) to analyze the academic track record of all charter school applicants intending to operate schools and serve families in North Baton Rouge’s Achievement Zone. The results of this analysis will be used to invite charter school operators approved by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) and the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board (EBRPSS) to apply for start-up resources from NSBR’s Excellence Fund. LSU will release the results of its review on August 1, prior to authorization decisions by BESE and EBRPSS.New Schools for Baton Rouge is a community partnership bringing together talent and resources to deliver excellent schools to students and families in Baton Rouge. Founded in April 2012, NSBR has spent its first year recruiting the highest performing school operators from across the country and securing commitments for a $30M Excellence Fund, which will seed and accelerate the growth of high quality schools. New Schools for Baton Rouge’s goal is to support the creation of new, excellent schools for 12,000 students over the next five years in the Achievement Zone – a joint effort of public and non-profit organizations in Baton Rouge, including the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board and the Recovery School District, to improve educational options in North Baton Rouge.The highest performing open-enrollment high school in New Orleans and one of the highest performing school operators in Texas are among those schools that New Schools for Baton Rouge recruited based on its preliminary review of academic records, seeking operators and schools that performed in the top quartiles academically in their cities and states while also serving students from low-income and high-need backgrounds. Others that have applied for the opportunity to operate charter schools in the Achievement Zone include:· Celerity Educational Group (Los Angeles, CA)· Collegiate Academies (New Orleans, LA)· Democracy Prep Public Schools (New York, NY)· Family Urban Schools of Excellence (Hartford, CT)· Green Dot Public Charter Schools (Los Angeles, CA)· Knowledge is Power Program, KIPP (New Orleans, LA)· YES Prep Public Schools (Houston, TX)Through its partnership with New Schools for Baton Rouge, LSU will take a closer look at the track records of all applicants for schools in the Achievement Zone, whether they have applied to operate under EBRPSS or the Louisiana Recovery School District (RSD). The LSU team will review published academic results, student demographics, and other factors to measure that against NSBR’s bar of excellence.“This partnership between LSU and New Schools for Baton Rouge is unique,” says Dr. George Noell, professor at LSU. “Our team is excited to support New Schools for Baton Rouge’s efforts to draw the highest performing charter operators to Baton Rouge by providing an independent review of the performance evidence by a team of experienced researchers.”Schools that are identified as top performers in LSU’s analysis and authorized by BESE or EBRPSS will be invited to apply to the Excellence Fund for grants that will ultimately be awarded this fall. Decisions for Excellence Fund grants will be based on an extensive due diligence review by NSBR that considers five key areas:

  1. Academic Track Record – an excellent academic track record, as measured by LSU’s third-party review;
  2. Leadership an experienced leadership team with high expectations for all students and educators;
  3. Plan for Transformative Change – a transformational school model that includes a comprehensive strategy to successfully replicate student achievement results of the flagship school;
  4. Community – a strong plan to meaningfully engage students, families, and the community; and
  5. Financial Sustainability – a growth plan that is financially sustainable at scale.

“Given the high number of charter school applicants interested in opening schools in Baton Rouge, we have the opportunity to select the schools with the strongest track records of results,” says New Schools for Baton Rouge founder and CEO, Chris Meyer.“We urge both BESE and EBRPSS to focus on the quality, not the quantity, of school operators. We look forward to LSU’s findings as decisions are made about the future of the Achievement Zone. Our students and families deserve only the best, and New Schools for Baton Rouge will continue to partner with the community to provide an excellent school for every child in Baton Rouge.”

Other Articles

Stay informed.

Sign up for our newsletter.

Almost finished... We need to confirm your email address. To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.