Guest Column from The 74: 10 Reasons New Orleans’ Schools Are Succeeding

May 15, 2019

This week, The 74 published a piece by our CEO, Patrick Dobard, on the top reasons New Orleans’ schools are improving and succeeding.

Read on for Patrick’s reflections on the ten things that stand out, from accountability to open enrollment and community engagement.


New Orleans’s public schools have shown significant growth and progress in the past 13 years. This progress did not happen overnight; it took passion, leadership, accountability, funding and focus to turn our education system around. The results are impressive. In 2005, 62 percent of New Orleans students attended the lowest-performing schools in the state, compared with just 8 percent in 2018. Our college-entry rate has risen from 37 percent in 2004 to 61 percent in 2017.

How did we do it? This work has been nuanced and complicated, but when I look at what distinguishes education in New Orleans, 10 things stand out..

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