In August of this year, NSNO released our report Ten Years in New Orleans: Public School Resurgence and the Path Ahead.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting some of our key findings.
Educators in New Orleans practice their craft in a unique environment.
Most notably, teachers and principals are empowered to choose the school that aligns to their own vision for public education. Rather than assignment through the central office, educators select a school based on the mission, values, instructional approach, and professional environment that offers the best fit for them.
Government holds these autonomous schools accountable for their academic results. In doing so, the system creates incentives for principals to recruit teachers from university or alternative programs that deliver strong educators. Schools must provide compelling professional growth opportunities and retain the most effective, aligned educators—or academic performance will decline. This structure has allowed New Orleans educators to lead an academic transformation in the city.
No single source of teachers has had a monopoly over the past decade—and growing citywide enrollment suggests that demand for teachers among New Orleans public schools will continue to increase. As efforts to grow residency programs embedded in charter school organizations build momentum, New Orleans has the opportunity to transform how teachers are prepared in this country, while tapping more novice educators with local roots to come into the profession.