We will not sit quietly and let distortions of data lead the perception of what happened with public education in the last 10 years as a road to success. The idea that we are on a continuum and we just need to stay the course is insane. Continue excluding the most challenging children? I don’t think so. There are real costs to “disruptive innovation” in public education. Those costs are borne out in the lives of the people. Thankfully there are a few principled journalists who are telling a more full story of the children left behind. It is my hope that at the Katrina 20 year mark, we will see that there has been a course correction with these wrong headed “reforms” and the focus will be on how we have helped rebuild community in New Orleans. Our children and our communities can’t take another 10 years of disconnectedness caused by the takeover of public education in New Orleans. There is something particularly insidious about using flawed data to promote the RSD type reforms as something for other cities to replicate. How do you promote replicating something that you now admit is only “improvement” and needs much more work? We must shift this narrative of “improvement” to evidence of these changes in public education leading to real differences in uplifting children inside of their communities. The very idea that we have to transport children outside of their communities to take a chance of maybe getting a school that will survive long enough to improve their academic performance is not in the best interest of children or our city as a whole.
This is a fascinating article about the New Orleans Recovery School District, that appeared in the International Business Times.
Which children were left behind? Who benefitted by the expansion of choice to cover the entire district? It describes the special education students who were pushed from school to school. The students who were suspended again and again for minor infractions. The high school graduation rate, still far behind the state rate.
Broader measures show a rejuvenated school system. ACT scores in the state-run district increased from 14.5 in 2007 to 16.4 in 2014, and far fewer students in the majority-black district attend schools deemed failing. The proportion of Orleans Parish high school graduates enrolling in college has grown more than 20 percent since 2004.[ed. note: a score of 16.4 is very low, too low for admission to four-year colleges.]
But parents of children like Jeremiah feel left out. Critics worry…
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