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Photo by Gerald Herbert/​The Associated Press

Houston — Recent data from the Louisiana Department of Education show the city of New Orleans is making tremendous progress in turning around one of the lowest-performing school districts in the nation. In eight years, the number of failing schools in New Orleans has dramatically decreased to an all-time low. Today, 5.7 percent of students attend an underperforming school, which is down substantially from 2005 when 65 percent of the students attended a failing campus.

In addition to the progress in New Orleans, there are other encouraging signs across the state. According to the Louisiana Department of Education, the state now has:

  • A record number of A or B schools;
  • A record number of students scoring Basic or above on state tests;
  • A record number of students graduating on time;
  • A record number of students taking Advanced Placement courses; and
  • A record number of students earning ACT scores that qualify for college admission.

Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) is launching an informational campaign in New Orleans and Baton Rouge that showcases Louisiana as a national model for transforming public education. LJAF conducted a similar campaign last summer and wants to once again congratulate the teachers, administrators, parents, community members, and students on the continued improvements.

The progress is remarkable. Before Hurricane Katrina, nearly two-thirds of the children in New Orleans were trapped in failing schools. The city could not have reached the point where it is today without hard work and policy changes,” Esther Tricoche, LJAF Education Program Manager, explained. There is still more to do, but we are proud to recognize all those who are delivering on the promise of providing a high-quality school for every student.”