Recently the Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives at Tulane University retracted its October 1st school report. According to a Times Picayune article dated October 10, 2014 “In a high-profile embarrassment, Tulane University’s Cowen Institute for Education Initiatives on Friday retracted its widely cited Oct. 1 report on New Orleans public high school performance. The study concluded that most schools are posting higher graduation rates and better test scores than could be expected, given the socio-economic disadvantages of their students“. The report was removed from their web site as officials from the Cowen Institute stated that the “report’s methodology was flawed, making its conclusions inaccurate”.
Every year post Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, charter school proponents and education privateers have boasted about the academic gains of the charter schools. However the only folks that have been making these claims are the folks that have a vested interest in the success of charter schools (Recovery School District, charter operators, education industry). Since 2007 the Cowen Institue has been the lead cheerleader of the unfound academic success of charter schools in New Orleans.
Meanwhile all external analysis of the market model education reforms have reported just the opposite. Researchers and bloggers have consistently found that the Recovery School District of New Orleans schools rank at the bottom when compared to other school districts in the state.Obviously the Cowen Institute could no longer ignore the obvious. This is quite a turn around for a agency at a major research university. More importantly it is unbelievable that a research institution would make such an analysis given the preponderance of data that clearly indicated otherwise.
Charles Hatfield of Research on Reforms joined us this morning to discuss how for years the Cowen Institute has touted unfound success with the market model reforms of the public schools in New Orleans.