Investing in Innovation Fund (i3)

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Louisiana 2010 Validation Grant Abstract


Grantee:

New Schools for New Orleans

PR Award Number:

U396B100118

Project Title:

Scaling the New Orleans Charter Restart Model

Project Director:

Neerav Kingsland
504-274-3608

Amount of Award:

$28,016,682

Length of Award:

5 years

Absolute Priority:

AP4: Persistently Low-Performing Schools

List of Partners (with states for each):

Recovery School District (LA)
Tennessee Achievement School District (TN)

Project Website:

http://newschoolsforneworleans.org/i3_apply.php

Description of Project:

Scaling the New Orleans Charter Restart Model will invest in the start-up and expansion of effective charter operators in New Orleans and Tennessee, develop district-level performance management systems and stakeholder engagement processes to monitor and support the turnaround of poorly performing schools, and disseminate the New Orleans Charter Restart Model to local and state education agencies as well as reform-minded nonprofits across the country. Rather than focusing on individual charter schools, the project seeks to institutionalize in New Orleans a performance-based system of public schools. Project leaders aim to document and help scale the reform model so that the nation can begin to develop the necessary permanent infrastructure — and better understand how to structure a system of schools — to annually turn around the bottom 5 percent of its lowest-performing schools that serve high-needs students.

Data analysis will drive both investment decisions and investment monitoring. The results of data analysis on student learning outcomes play a large role in determining which school operator applicants receive sub grants. This focus on objective data analysis conducted by an external evaluator ensures that investments focus on operators with a proven track record of success.

The following measures of success will be used:

  • Successfully launch or turn around 19 schools in New Orleans, either by opening new charters or placing new operators in failing schools. Operators are selected based on a transparent rubric analysis conducted by an external evaluator of the operator's current student learning outcomes and capacity to scale.
  • Build the permanent capacity of successful charter operators in New Orleans to annually turn around the bottom 5 percent of persistently low-performing schools through a charter restart model. Permanent capacity will be established by spurring the development of three new charter management organizations in New Orleans — ensuring that school government entities have dedicated personnel and processes in place to monitor charter restart performance, identify schools for turnaround, engage stakeholders, and solicit community input and buy-in in a transparent manner.
  • Successfully launch or turn around eight schools in Tennessee (Memphis and Nashville), either by opening new charters or by placing new operators in failing schools. Operators will be selected based on a transparent rubric and objective data analysis.
  • Document and disseminate the New Orleans Charter Restart Model strategy to district and government leaders across nation.

Description of Evaluation:

Annually, evaluators will conduct a quasi-experimental study of student learning outcomes at school operator investment sites. Twice annually, evaluators will conduct school reviews focused on teaching and learning, school culture and leadership. Evaluators will also deliver a 5-year report on the results of a quasi-experimental analysis that uses a longitudinal matched sample. Elements of impact will be student performance (quasi-experimental pre- and post-test design, using a matched sample); effectiveness of charter school organizational development (using a performance management rubric to measure areas of school operations and leadership that correlate strongly with student learning outcomes); and effectiveness of project expansion.

Project Evaluator:

Margaret Raymond
650-725-3431

Organization:

Stanford University


 
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Last Modified: 03/22/2011