After the Hurricanes in 2005, the New Orleans Public Schools, which had been troubled and mismanaged, were seized in what has been called by its proponents the nation's largest charter school experiment.
Many people in New Orleans grieve that not only were their public schools fragmented and charterized, but they also lost the kind of public access and accountability that constitute democracy itself.
After the 2005 hurricanes, school reform in New Orleans was sold by appealing to the myth of individualism, but there has been a painful cost for vulnerable children and families who have been unable to find a suitable place at school among the confusing and often inadequate choices.
June 20, 2012: Judge rules Post-Katrina School Firings Wrongful.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has released a scathing report, Access Denied, about two concerns in public and charter schools in New orleans: overly punitive discipline and failure to serve children needing special education.
Ralph Adamo's prophetic article, "Squeezing Public Education: History and Ideology Gang Up in New Orleans," appeared in the Summer 2007, Dissent Magazine.
The Center for Community Change shares the voices of New Orleans high school students and the time line for the takeover of the New Orleans public schools post-Katrina in Dismantling a Community.
Check out the cover story in our own 2007 Message on Public Education.
Check the follow-up article on pages 2-3 of the UCC's 2008 Message on Public Education.