For over ten years following Hurricane Katrina, Research on Reforms received decoded student data from the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) for use in conducting research. Our findings generally rebutted the LDOE’s claims of outstanding student progress. Then, in 2018, the LDOE began to deny Research on Reforms’ requests for the data needed to conduct research. Without this data, the work could not continue. While denying this data to Research on Reforms, the LDOE continued to provide the data to its selected researcher, CREDO.
Thus, Research on Reforms filed a lawsuit against the LDOE, citing the Louisiana Public Records Act and the provision in FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, that allowed for the release of decoded data. The trial court held for the LDOE, but the decision was overturned by the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal, which required the LDOE to release the data and to pay approximately $18,000 in damages. The above litigation took several years, during which time Research on Reforms could not continue its work due to lack of data.
Our mission now is to follow-up and continue our work. We will assess our research findings in accordance with the current status of the schools. We will provide insight and a vision for the future.