The low ranking of Louisiana schools and the near bottom ranking of the New Orleans RSD schools track almost precisely the extreme poverty level of our students compared to all other states. So all the claims of dramatic success in Pastorek’s op-ed piece amount to the same kind of bogus claims made by the rainmakers of the old days. This is just a new group of rubes to swindle and a new confidence game.
By the way, the Michigan Recovery District encouraged by Pastorek is a disaster, the Tennessee RSD centered in Memphis is still a low performer, and Arkansas just refused to convert the Little Rock school system into charter operations, partially because the truth is beginning to leak out about the RSD in New Orleans. Finally it is important to note that when the RSD in Louisiana expanded to Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Pointe Coupee and St Helena, all but one of the takeover schools actually declined. Their percentile ranking is dead last in the state. Two of the takeover schools were given back to their original school boards and one closed as parents removed their children. It is unfortunate that parents were never actually given a "choice" about converting their neighborhood schools into charters. Yet some of them voted with their right to simply remove their children from the fiasco.