On Recovery School Districts and Stronger State Education Agencies: Lessons from Louisiana

Paul Hill, Patrick J. Murphy:

In May 2011, state education agency representatives from New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Tennessee attended a series of workshops and briefings organized by the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE). The sessions described the changes that have taken place in Louisiana over the past six years, including the creation of the Recovery School District (RSD) that redeveloped unproductive schools in New Orleans and elsewhere, the restructuring of the LDOE, and efforts to create a new performance-based organizational culture in state and local education agencies.
Presenters included LDOE staff, RSD administrators, academic observers, nonprofit service partners, and education stakeholders. There was a candid discussion of the LDOE’s overall school improvement goals, steps taken to achieve those objectives, and in some cases missteps made in the effort to dramatically turn around a large number of schools in a relatively short time and to prompt improvements in all schools across the state.