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Test score results for the New Orleans Recovery School District are given out at a news conference in May 2008. The district is one of two outpacing the rest of the state in student academic growth. (Bill Haber/The Associated Press)

Houston — Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) is highlighting recent Louisiana student performance data and congratulating the City of New Orleans in an open letter to the community in today’s edition of The Times-Picayune.

According to the latest numbers from the Louisiana Department of Education, New Orleans is, once again, outpacing the rest of the state in academic growth. Scores on the state’s LEAP and iLEAP assessments were up in schools controlled by the Recovery School District (RSD) and the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB). The combined gains for the RSD and the OPSB are five times greater than the statewide average.

“These results are testament to the hard work of all the teachers, administrators, parents, community members, and, especially, the students,” said LJAF Vice President of Education Caprice Young. “The entire community is working together to deliver on its promise to provide a high-quality education for every child. While there is more work to be done, we believe New Orleans has created a model for transforming an educational system for the betterment of all children.”

LJAF’s K-12 initiative is focused on creating, expanding, and replicating effective systems of high-performing schools, particularly in underserved communities. Its core strategy focuses on three primary levers for reform:

  • More high-quality schools and educators;
  • Active public engagement; and
  • Environment of innovation.

“All of those features exist in New Orleans. It’s a proud city with a bold plan, and we feel it is important to recognize all those who are working to help students succeed.” Young said.