An October 27, 2019 story on nola.com profiled the Cowen Institute’s annual poll “What Do Parents’ Think?”. The article examined how, due to the complexities of the public education system in New Orleans, many parents remain confused about how to navigate it properly.
The article begins:
The last decade has produced tectonic shifts to education in New Orleans, the first major city in the U.S. without any traditional public schools run by a central office. But even though decentralization of the local school system has been years in the making, many parents still don’t understand how it all works.
That’s according to “What Do Parents Think?,” a report from the Cowen Institute, an education research and innovation center based at Tulane University.
The report also found that nearly half of public school parents surveyed think the local school system has neither improved nor gotten worse since charter schools came on the scene.
With the charter movement comes school choice, which means more options for families. But it also means a complex lottery application system, long commutes across town for many students, decentralized services like bus transportation, and frequent leadership turnover as charters are revoked for reasons ranging from poor fiscal management to failing grades from the state.
“I completely understand why parents would be confused,” said Vincent Rossmeier, the Cowen Institute’s director of policy.