New Orleans

Why New Orleans Should Be at the Top of your List

Across the country, you can lead high-impact work in education leadership. But our New Orleans Pioneers believe that there’s nowhere quite like NOLA if you want to be at the forefront of education innovation.

Here in the Crescent City, the local school district is made up almost entirely of charter schools – and it’s not an understatement to say that nowhere else in the country has a school district like New Orleans.

In the last decade, results in NOLA schools have been impressive, with improvements in student results on standardized tests and higher graduation rates. In fact, “we are not aware of any other districts that have made such large improvements in such a short time,” writes Douglas Harris, professor of economics at Tulane University and founder and director of the Education Research Alliance for New Orleans.

While the gains are promising, there’s a lot more work to do in NOLA on behalf of the city’s students. Given the charter landscape here, leaders are able to quickly plan and test solutions to some of our nation’s most persistent challenges in public education. Pioneers who are eager to advance opportunity for all students, and hold schools accountable for equity and results, will find their place here.

Learn more about our NOLA Pioneers, their work, and their impact:

Additional NOLA resources:

About Our Work in New Orleans

New Orleans is small in size but big in character. Influenced by the French, Spanish, and Creole cultures, New Orleans boasts creativity in food, music, and technology. Since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in 2005, New Orleans has become a hub of innovation and community engagement, particularly in the way its schools serve students.

Education Pioneers’ work in this region is primarily concentrated within the city limits of New Orleans. There, in the wake of the hurricane, the statewide Recovery School District took control of most of the district’s many struggling schools. In turn, the state tapped a range of national and local organizations to operate charter schools.

More than 90% of students attend charter schools, as New Orleans reimagines itself as a diverse “portfolio” of schools. With an influx of talent and innovative approaches for meeting student needsstudent achievement has increased substantially throughout the city. 

Indeed, New Orleans is hailed as one of the most reform-friendly cities in the country – one that is paving the way for other cities, small and large, across the country.

Education Pioneers has been working in New Orleans since 2012 to supply local organizations with the talented people they need to achieve their goals.

  • 14 partner organizations, including charter school management organizations Algiers Charter School Association and Crescent City Schools, teacher leadership program Leading Educators, education technology developer Kickboard, and venture incubator 4.0 Schools.
  • EP Fellows in the New Orleans area work on strategic projects that make a difference, including: growth plans for expanding charter management organizations ARISE Schools and KIPP New Orleans, financial analysis of teacher retirement plans for Algiers Charter School Association, family engagement strategies for Bricolage Academy, and hands-on operations work for ReNEW Schools and Crescent City Schools.
  • EP’s New Orleans-based alumni have remained to contribute to this city/region on an ongoing basis, including: 2012 Fellow Paris Woods, Co-Founder and Executive Director of College Beyond

Local Contact


Beloved Community
Cowen Institute
Leading Educators
Louisiana Recovery School District
New Schools for Baton Rouge
Nobel Minds
Orleans Parish School Board
Orleans Parish School Board
Palm Beach County School District


The Booth-Bricker Fund
Baptist Community Ministries
Pro Bono Publico Foundation
Susan Barnett and Jeffrey Christensen
Reily Foundation/Bob & Margaret Reily Fund
New Schools for New Orleans
Leslie Rosenthal Jacobs and Stephen Rosenthal