Since its founding in 2012, New Schools for Baton Rouge has made great strides toward educational equity in Baton Rouge. Over 85% of students that are enrolled in NSBR schools are students of color, and more than 95% of our students face significant financial hardship. It has been our priority to ensure that all students in the Baton Rouge community have the opportunity to receive a high-quality education that fits their unique needs. By 2023, NSBR will have launched a total of 35 schools, thus giving students and families a robust set of educational options that meet their specific needs and interests.
Regarding student achievement, we have seen immense growth in our schools. Specifically, NSBR supported schools consistently achieve the highest progress index in the parish, meaning students enrolled in NSBR schools are growing at a faster rate than their peers at any other kind of school in Baton Rouge. Similarly, a 2017 study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes by Stanford University found that NSBR schools provide students with the equivalent of an additional 80 days of learning in reading and math over the course of a single school year.
School choice is on the rise in our community. October 2020 enrollment data shows that more families than ever are making a choice regarding their child’s education rather than waiting for an assignment from the local school district. Enrollment in district-run, non-magnet schools is down 3% compared to data from October 2019, and down more than 15% over the last decade. Enrollment in public charter schools, which are open to any student and are non-selective, is up more than two and a half times over the last decade with nearly a quarter of all public school students in Baton Rouge attending a public charter school. As of Spring 2021, 45% of all Baton Rouge students served by public schools are now exercising some form of choice, either magnet, charter, or state schools.
According to enrollment data from February 2021, these enrollment trends continue to grow. Throughout the Pandemic, from October 2020 to February 2021, the total enrollment in direct-run East Baton Rouge Parish District schools declined by 3%, while NSBR’s portfolio of schools saw a 10% increase in enrollment. This data suggests that throughout the Pandemic, NSBR schools were better positioned to meet the needs of students and families even under emergency circumstances. A fall 2020 survey sent to parents with students in NSBR schools indicated that 98% of parents would recommend their child’s school to a friend or family member. This satisfaction indicator speaks volumes about what our schools are doing for students and families.
Our teacher satisfaction rate is also high, meaning that our schools are successfully supporting educators in addition to students and families. In our fall 2020 survey cycle, 93% of teachers indicated that they plan to remain as a full-time teacher at their school for the following school year. Additionally, teacher retention rates continue to climb year over year in our portfolio schools, despite the growing difficulties of the profession brought on by the Pandemic.
As of Spring 2021, NSBR schools are serving 8,000 students who would otherwise be stuck in a failing school. It is our vision that by 2030, no student in Baton Rouge will have to attend a D or F-rated school ever again.