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.Anyway, it doesn't matter. Now that it's been circulated far and wide, it's already served its purpose.
Before the retraction, the report had leaped to prominence in some New Orleans education circles, touted by everyone from state Recovery School District Superintendent Patrick Dobard to Leslie Jacobs, a former member of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and a driving force behind the state's education reforms of the past 20 years. It also was highlighted via social media by leaders of the charter management organization Collegiate Academies, which runs Carver Prep and Carver Collegiate, and of the nonprofit charter support group New Schools for New Orleans.Expect to see it continue bouncing around and "winning" arguments for these people whenever needed.