New Schools for New Orleans’ Strategic Priorities

While New Orleans students have made tremendous progress over the last decade, academic performance has begun to plateau. Student achievement has remained flat for the past three years. New Schools for New Orleans has identified four areas of focus for the coming years to tackle these challenges. Each of our strategic priorities aims to address the root causes of our recent limited achievement gains.


We invest in schools and partner with the Orleans Parish School Board to improve the quality of New Orleans’ school options.


A New Orleans family had a slightly more than one-in-ten chance to get their child into a top performing school in 2004. While families have much better chances today—more than one-in three families now send their children to A or B schools—too many families still do not have good options.


We will broaden our effort to identify and support new school models that have promising approaches or fulfill specific citywide demands from students and families.

We also recognize that far too many children are being underserved in our schools. We will work with the district and other support organizations to ensure students are not required to remain in schools that do not meet their needs.


By 2021, schools in New Orleans will be outperforming more than half the districts in Louisiana.


We help schools make the curricular and instructional shifts necessary to meet more rigorous academic standards.


Districts across the state adapted more effectively than New Orleans to more rigorous academic standards. Only one in three New Orleans elementary schools are using fully aligned curricula for English Language Arts, and only one in five high schools are using aligned Math curricula.


The NSNO Instructional Quality Initiative will ensure schools: 1) move to adopt standards-aligned instructional materials and 2) receive intensive, tailored support to improve implementation of those materials, so that students are better prepared to master more rigorous standards.


By 2021, 75% of elementary and high schools will be using curricula fully aligned to rigorous state standards.


We take a leading role in coordinating solutions to the city’s teacher recruitment and retention challenges.


Teacher recruitment and retention deficits continue to limit our ability to make sustainable progress. Like most urban school districts, about 20% of our workforce leaves annually and as a result New Orleans schools hire nearly 900 teachers each year.


NSNO and partners were awarded a U.S. Department of Education Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grant to recruit, prepare, and develop nearly 900 highly-effective, culturally competent teachers from diverse backgrounds by 2020. We are working with experts and local stakeholders on teacher retention to identify how our schools—and the city—could make teaching a more sustainable career choice.


By 2021, 1,800 teachers from NSNO supported teacher preparation programs will join New Orleans public schools.


We provide communications and policy support to maintain a reform-friendly environment.


New Orleans’ policy and political environment has consistently held a high bar for academic performance and equity. Maintaining these principles is imperative to meet the needs our our city’s students.


NSNO will diligently monitor the policy landscape and collaborate with our partners to help OPSB implement policies that allow great schools to thrive. We will help share the stories of the great work happening in our schools, while also shining a light on the challenges our system still faces and how our city is working to solve them.


By 2021, OPSB will have successfully implemented Act 91 (unification under one, local school district) while upholding the citywide commitment to autonomy, accountability, and equity.