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Ch-ch-ch-changes: New Orleans Charter Schools

Ambramson Science and Technology

Ambramson Science and Technology


Every adversity seems to contain a silver lining. I believe that with anything that’s seemingly bad there is always something about it that you can find as a benefit, something good can come out of it. It’s there. You just have to look for it.

With all the woeful tales we hear about New Orleans and the aftermath of Katrina there is actually a lot of positive things that have come out of it. One of the major changes that was forced upon our city was a re-structuring of our public school system.

The pre-Katrina school board was so firmly entrenched with cronyism and corruption that all their claims of “it’s about the children” fell like sour notes on the ears of those who had become fed up with their incompetence and in-fighting.

Basically, two generations of youngsters had their future stolen from them by narrow-minded adults who cared only about their back pockets and grabs for power. Crime on our streets were a direct result of this massively failing and corrupt system.

I had thought that the only way that the school system would ever change would be if someone dropped a bombed in the middle of it. The shenanigans and corruption of the whole system was such that it appeared hopeless that it would or could ever change.

Hurricane Katrina ended all that. It provided the bomb. I remember when we were hurricane refugees in Baton Rouge sitting with our mouths agape as we watched one helicopter shot after another of our inundated city.

I thought of all those kids who were now in Texas and other far flung reaches of the country and how they would actually be finally going to decent schools. They would actually get to experience how a school was supposed to be run. And maybe learn something for once.

The City of New Orleans was given a gift of immense proportions when the state wrested the school board of its schools, most of them failing, and basically took over the hurricane-obliterated school system.

Many of these schools were allowed to reopen as charter schools and hopeful students and parents now flocked to these self-responsible and competitive institutions. Now New Orleans has more charter schools than anywhere else in the country and is being looked upon as a model of the renovation of public education.

What we have now are kids who are actually getting a real education but not only an education academically but also socially. They are taught how to be good, responsible citizens. You can’t argue with success. Perhaps the success here will be the beginning of a complete restructuring of public eduction in America.

Please leave a comment. Tell me what you think.


Posted in New Orleans Culture, New Orleans Life.

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