NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Thirteen public schools in New Orleans that were taken over by the state because of poor performance have improved so much that they are eligible to go back to governance by the Orleans Parish School Board - if they want to and if state and local officials agree.
Statistics released Monday show that the 13 schools have, for two consecutive years, earned a performance score of 80 or above. All 13 are under the oversight of the state's Recovery School District. That agency is allowing them to be operated by private charter organizations.
A return to Orleans School Board supervision is not automatic. According to the RSD, an eligible school's charter board must decide whether it wants to return to Orleans control. And the Orleans board and the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education would have to approve the move.
It is unclear whether any of the schools now eligible for return will take steps to go back to the Orleans system in the next school year
The schools are: Akili Academy, Arthur Ashe Charter School, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Charter School for Science & Technology, Dwight D. Eisenhower Elementary School, KIPP Believe College Prep (Phillips), KIPP Central City Academy, KIPP Central City Primary, KIPP McDonogh 15 School for the Creative Arts, Lafayette Academy of New Orleans, Langston Hughes Academy Charter School, Martin Behrman Elementary School, O. Perry Walker Senior High School, Sci Academy.
The RSD took over dozens of New Orleans schools after levee failures during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 devastated the city. Debate followed in the ensuing years over how, when and whether to turn schools back over to the Orleans board..