Among the many man-made disasters in New Orleans over the past year is the dismantling of the public school system. Few people are aware the state and federal government used Hurricane Katrina as an excuse to close the majority of New Orleans public schools, organize a state-takeover without the consent of the local community, terminate the teachers' contract, fire the vast majority of the staff, and reopen the majority of public schools this September as charter schools.
Recently, I had the privilege of chaperoning a group of New Jersey youth to New Orleans to help in the community rebuilding efforts. While visiting the city, I was able to attend the New Orleans Education Summit sponsored by a variety of local community organizations. Participants in this summit included the interim superintendent of the New Orleans Public Schools, a member of the state organization overseeing the Recovery School District, the president of United Teachers of New Orleans, and Lisa Delpit, a nationally known education writer and researcher. . .
"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972
Monday, August 21, 2006
Another Visitor to New Orleans Schools
A clip from Ellen Whitt's commentary in the Home News Tribune: