Performance among Uptown public schools in the most recent school year was in many ways similar to that in the year before, according to state scores released Monday. A cluster of high-performing schools continued gains that in many ways lead the city, while a somewhat larger group of low-performing schools split between those making progress toward the middle, those that are slowly improving but still dismally low, and a handful with results that can only be described as disappointing. The Top 10
Uptown has a strong share of the highest-performing schools in New Orleans — only 18 of the city’s nearly 80 public schools scored an ‘A’ or a ‘B,’ and eight of those are in Uptown neighborhoods. Lusher Charter School, which is mostly selective-admission, continues its performance as a standout school, scoring 167.1 (out of 200) and behind only Benjamin Franklin High School in the entire city. The growth in its scores were strong as well, surging nearly 12 points from the year before.
High-performing charter schools in the Recovery School District — such as Sophie B. Wright, Lafayette Academy and several KIPP campuses in Uptown — are concerned that the Orleans Parish School Board will take an administrative fee out of their federal grants if they return to the district, amid broader issues of trust and autonomy, reports Jessica Williams of The Lens.
This fall, Sophie B. Wright Institute for Academic Excellence will add four Advanced Placement courses — which can earn high school students college credit — in literature, music theory, U.S. history, and world history, according to a report by charter school reporter Danielle Bell at The Lens.
Even as education officials tout increases in test scores around Louisiana and in New Orleans, the only open-admissions school in Uptown New Orleans that exceeded state averages in any subject last year was New Orleans Charter Science and Math High School — and that was only in two of four subjects. Among other high schools, New Orleans College Prep was only a few points off the state average in three of four subjects, and Eleanor McMain Secondary School generally trailed Prep by a few more points in each subject. But Sophie B. Wright Institute of Academic Excellence had decidedly mixed results, and the phasing-out Walter L. Cohen High School and the now-closed Sojourner Truth Academy scored even lower. The state of Louisiana offers end-of-course exams to high school students in four subjects — Algebra, English, Geometry and Biology — and assigns grades at four levels: Excellent, Good, Fair and Needs Improvement. While any grade above “Needs Improvement” is sufficient to pass the grade, officials with the state Department of Education look at the proportion who score “Good” or “Excellent” to evaluate student achievement.
On a beautiful Fat Tuesday, enthusiastic crowds met the Krewes of Zulu and Rex along their Uptown routes to close out the Carnival season. Zulu rolled early Tuesday morning with a theme of “From Zulu With Love” along Jackson Avenue and St. Charles. Celebrating the “Lore of the Ancient Americas,” Rex rolled along Napoleon and St. Charles, then followed Zulu downtown.
The Uptown parade route saw its thickest crowds of the Carnival season so far on Thursday night when the Knights of Babylon, the Knights of Chaos and the Krewe of Muses delivered their highly anticipated shows. Babylon’s 20 floats toured the British Isles, touching on literature, geography and history. The Knights of Chaos, steeped in the satiric tradition of Momus, made a mockery of every political topic at hand. Finally, the Krewe of Muses put on their wildly popular spectacle, combining topical floats tied together by a “Muses Go Shopping” theme with the light and music show that has earned them their reputation. The anticipation for the Muses was evident on Twitter, where more than 700 comments and photos were logged with the hashtag #muses throughout the day and long into the night.
Under bright, cold skies on Sunday, the krewes of Carrollton and King Arthur both brought Louisiana themes to the Uptown New Orleans route. The 88-year-old Krewe of Carrollton rolled with a 20-float parade themed “Celebrate Louisiana.” Shortly afterward, the 450 members of the Krewe of King Arthur celebrated their 35th anniversary in conjunction with the state’s 200th, calling their 25-float parade “King Arthur Celebrates the Louisiana Statehood Bicentennial.” See below for more photos, plus live coverage from the route via Twitter. Krewes of Carrollton and King Arthur
After an afternoon of concern about a persistent rainfall, the skies cleared just in time Friday night for the Krewe of Oshun to down St. Charles Avenue as the first parade of the season along the Uptown route. Oshun’s theme this year was “Child’s Play,” with 19 floats based on nursery rhymes. Deborah Singleton Rogers reigned as Queen Oshun XV, and Ronald Joseph Lewis Jr. was King Shango. “Traditionally symbolized by a peacock or a fan, Oshun was the goddess of fountains, love, wealth and religion for the African people of Brazil, Haiti and Cuba,” according to Arthur Hardy’s 36th Annual Mardi Gras Guide.