Greater New Orleans Foundation and Partners Release New Orleans School Partnership Study
Study recognizes history of inequity, provides roadmap for action on urgent student needs
New Orleans, LA (December 23, 2019) – Today, the Greater New Orleans Foundation released New Orleans School Partnership Study: What Our Students Need and How We Can Help. In partnership with NOLA Public Schools and funding support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Baptist Community Ministries, the new report identifies some of our students’ most urgent needs and a roadmap for how schools and community partners can increase resources, coordination, partnership and investments to improve student support and performance.
“The Greater New Orleans Foundation is proud to lead this partnership to help identify solutions to pressing issues facing our city and region,” said Andy Kopplin, President and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation. “The education of our young people is the foundation of a thriving community and while we have made real progress, we have so much more to do together so every young person in our city receives a high quality education. This study highlights the urgent needs and recognizes the impact of racial inequities while identifying opportunities for collective investment, partnership and support of students, teachers and families.”
Square Button Consulting, LLC, in partnership with national nonprofit Education Resource Strategies, and the Spears Group were commissioned to produce the important study. Starting in December 2018, researchers engaged students, parents, teachers, and community providers through quantitative and qualitative analysis. Researchers gathered additional local and national data while conducting a landscape analysis of services and resources that currently exist and their capacity. Acknowledging recent efforts by NOLA Public Schools and partners, the study identified the most urgent student support needs as: mental health counseling, trauma-informed teaching, and support for students learning English and with special needs. The study also concludes that teachers needs more support to stay in their roles and develop as professionals.
“At NOLA Public Schools, we know that there is great potential in the collective power of the New Orleans community’s support of our schools citywide,” said NOLA Public Schools Superintendent Henderson Lewis, Jr. “And that is why we at NOLA Public Schools welcomed the opportunity to work with the Greater New Orleans Foundation to review where more support and coordination is needed to help our schools increase their impact now and in the years to come. The results of the study highlight four areas where our schools need additional resources, coordination, partnership and investment to improve how we support students citywide. And while I am encouraged that we at the district have efforts underway in each of these areas, I am looking forward to continuing to build solutions with our partners citywide.”
This report answers a few questions: what are the biggest needs our students face, and how are they being addressed? What can citywide organizations, like nonprofits, do to help schools address them? How will we be able to tell if that support worked? This report also underlines the real impact of longstanding racial inequity created by decades of national and local policy within and outside of education. These matters must be addressed head-on as we work together moving forward to provide more support for our students, teachers and families to increase educational success of our young people.
“This study illuminates the importance of addressing racial equity and meaningfully and authentically engaging families to ensure our children’s success in the classroom and in life. It should serve as a clarion call for us to better support all our children,” said Rhea Williams-Bishop, Director of Mississippi and New Orleans programs for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “Racial equity is not simply about who we serve but how we do the work. We hope the district and schools will work with urgency to envision and implement an educational system, in partnership with families and communities, that serves all its children, especially the most vulnerable.”
The full report and recommendations can be viewed at the Greater New Orleans Foundation website www.gnof.org.
About Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF):
For over 90 years, the Greater New Orleans Foundation has been connecting generous people to the causes that spark their passion. As one of the most trusted philanthropic organizations in the region, we work every day to drive positive impact through philanthropy, leadership and action in our thirteen-parish region. In addition to grantmaking, we convene people, resources, and ideas to create intelligent strategies and solutions to meet our region’s greatest challenges. We are proud to serve as a vocal civic leader with our partners to ensure a vibrant, sustainable, and just region for all. Learn more at www.gnof.org.
# # #