Public expresses support for many New Orleans education reforms

May 12, 2015

Mike Strecker
Phone: 504-865-5210

The public continues to support many of the changes that have occurred within New Orleans’ public education since Hurricane Katrina, according to a new opinion poll conducted by the Cowen Institute at Tulane University and supported by The New Orleans Advocate. Yet, respondents see room for improvement, as overall, they viewed New Orleans’ public schools as average.

“It’s vital to assess how the public perceives the evolution of New Orleans public education,” said Vincent Rossmeier, Cowen Institute policy director. “This year’s poll shows public support for many of the changes that have taken place in the last 10 years, and a few areas where respondents still desire progress.”

A unique and decentralized system of public schools has developed since the storm in which 91 percent of its students attend charter schools — the highest rate in the nation. The majority of respondents believe that charter schools have improved education in the city and are more likely to send their child to a public school than before Katrina. Likewise, a majority of public school parents believe that their child’s school provides a safe place to learn and offers preparation for life after high school. However, a majority also believe private schools offer a superior education.

Additionally, the poll found:

•  62 percent of respondents support Louisiana having common academic standards with other states. Yet, only 31 percent support Common Core standards.

•  72 percent support open school enrollment over geographic school assignment.

•  91 percent of all respondents believe public high schools should provide career and technical training.

•  Respondents most often agreed with the state’s decision to take over most schools after Hurricane Katrina and believe the current governance policies are the best.

To read the complete report, visit


Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000