As Naomi Klein detailed in The Shock Doctrine, post-Katrina New Orleans has been Ground Zero for efforts to privatize schools and weaken teacher unions—hallmarks of education reform. After the hurricane, the vast majority of New Orleans public schools were taken over by the states’ Recovery School District—the district that was subsequently headed by John White. Nearly all of the city’s 7,500 public school employees were fired, although a few were later rehired. The post-Katrina shock also saw the advent of a limited voucher program and a massive expansion of charter schools, many of them for-profit. Education Secretary Arne Duncan actually said that Hurricane Katrina was “the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans,” and Michael Bloomberg repeated this position almost verbatim in a profile in Fast Company in 2011. And yet, the Recovery School District received a “D” on the state’s evaluation system in 2011, making it the second-lowest-performing district in the state.The article takes note of the estimated 2,000 teachers who rallied against Gov. Jindal's "reform" bill on March 14, but were not let into the committee room. It also mentions Karran Harper Royal, a leading activist who is a mother of a child with disabilities and who's running as a progressive candidate for the board. I met Karran last August at the SOS Convention and was impressed by her obvious leadership qualities. She is active in Parents Across America and deserves our support for her campaign.
Friday, October 26, 2012
Billionaires jump into Louisiana school board race. Why?
"Why Do Some of America's Wealthiest Individuals Have Fingers in Louisiana's Education System?"