New Schools for New Orleans (NSNO), a nonprofit organization launched in 2006, has formed a partnership with six local charter management organizations (CMOs) in New Orleans, Louisiana. For school year 2016-2017, there are 23 schools among the 6 CMO partners. The number of schools may increase to 30 within the five years of the grant. New Orleans has a unique decentralized system of schools that allows CMOs to make autonomous staffing, budget, curricular, and operations decisions based needs the communities they serve. The project will serve as a model for implementing a decentralized human capital management system (HCMS) that balances standardized and customized elements based on educator needs in each CMO.
The project focuses on providing technical support for building performance-based compensation systems (PBCSs) and pathways, as well as support for CMOs to provide differentiated professional development for teachers, leaders, and other personnel based on growth areas they identify through the evaluation and support system. NSNO will build on its previous TIF grant efforts to ensure it successfully meets grant objectives.
Schools & LEAs Served
Through its grant, NSNO will support CMO efforts to build PBCSs and career pathways and to increase student achievement through improved educator effectiveness and retention. Additionally, NSNO will work with an external evaluator to monitor project progress and implementation of the project. Each partnering organization has a designated TIF liaison to help build internal capacity, implement the project requirements, and monitor progress.
Each charter school is its own LEA. NSNO partners with the CMOs that operate the charter schools. The list below shows the CMOs and the schools:
- Collegiate Academies - Sci Academy, G. W. Carver Collegiate Academy, Livingston Collegiate
- FirstLine Schools - Arthur Ashe Charter School, Samuel J. Green Charter School, Phillis Wheatley Community School, Langston Hughes Charter Academy
- KIPP New Orleans Schools - KIPP New Orleans Leadership Primary, KIPP New Orleans Leadership Academy, KIPP Believe College Prep, KIPP Believe College Primary, KIPP East Community Primary, KIPP McDonogh 15 Primary, KIPP McDonogh 15 Middle, KIPP Central City Primary, KIPP Central City Academy, KIPP Renaissance High School, KIPP Woodson High School
- New Orleans College Prep - Sylvanie Williams College Prep, Lawrence D. Crocker College Prep, Cohen College Prep
- Sophie B. Wright Charter School
- Success Preparatory Academy
Each CMO partner focuses intensely on identifying, developing, and retaining excellent educators to achieve its unique instructional vision. Each CMO's vision for instruction rests on continuously supporting educators by identifying their growth areas, providing targeted feedback and support, and capitalizing on their strengths. Every component of the HCMS--recruitment, hiring, placement, retention, dismissal, compensation, professional development, and promotion--is based on educators effectively meeting high standards for instruction. All partner CMOs recognize they must ensure that every educator knows what excellent instruction looks like and how it positively affects student achievement results if they are to achieve their instructional vision.
The CMOs need to do additional work to shift from an end-of-year performance award system to a true PBCS. With technical assistance from NSNO and The New Teacher Project (TNTP), each partner organization will build its PBCS and teacher career pathway with the input of its teachers and school leaders in the schools they serve. To ensure the PBCS is financially sustainable, NSNO requires CMOs to contribute an increasing share of PBCS costs throughout the course of the grant, ensuring that partners continue the work after grant funding ends.
Struggling and effective educators need differentiated professional development (PD) opportunities. As NSNO learned through its prior TIF grant, effective teachers who have development goals that excite them are willing to stay in the classroom 6 years longer on average than their effective peers who lack such goals. Targeted PD can improve efficacy for struggling educators and allow successful educators to build capacity to accept additional roles and responsibilities, thus increase their effect on students. The current project facilitates further developing differentiated PD supports for educators based on growth areas CMOs identified through their evaluation and support systems. CMOs will use grant funds to provide customized PD based on identified skill gaps.