New Orleans’ Recovery School District: The Lie Unveiled

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Julian Vasquez Heilig:

SB1718 (Texas Achievement School District) has passed out of the House Education Committee and will likely be voted on by the Texas House.

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Originally posted on deutsch29:

Yesterday, I was watching a video clip of the 2011 Aspen Institute debate between Wendy Kopp and Diane Ravitch.  In a final effort to defend corporate reform, Kopp tells the audience, “I encourage everyone to see for yourself, study for yourself… New Orleans….”

I intend to take Kopp up on her offer in this post.

I have written this piece with a particular audience in mind: Those in other states who are considering following what they think is “model reform” in New Orleans.  They have heard the hype and are seriously considering investing in a lie.  In this post, I will show the reality that is the so-called “New Orleans Miracle.”  It is no miracle at all.  It is only a “sleight of media.” An illusion. A farce.

The New Orleans Miracle is sand in the mouths of those who would drink from its mirage. Never forget it.

Nevertheless, it has…

View original 6,588 more words

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Categories: School Turnaround

Author:Julian Vasquez Heilig

Julian Vasquez Heilig is currently an Associate Professor of Educational Policy and Planning and African and African Diaspora Studies (by courtesy) at the University of Texas at Austin.

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3 Comments on “New Orleans’ Recovery School District: The Lie Unveiled”

  1. Monty J. Thornburg
    May 21, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    Broken Clock
    Even a broken clock is right a couple of times a day! In New Orleans there are many “broken clocks” – and some that run well. In New Orleans there are many efforts to fix the broken ones. Part of the problem is that the “fixers” each want to demonstrate, to claim, that their “fix” is a silver bullet.
    New Orleans should not be used as an exemplar, a “silver bullet” to fix education across America. Its non – synchronistic culture and history makes it one of the most interesting places in America to visit; however, its history also renders it useless as an exemplar for examining educational reform on a national scale.
    The legacy of racial segregation, “white flight” 50’s -90’s, “back rural migration to poorest areas of N.O., 50’s-90’s, schools established for Free People of Color, schools for Catholics; black and white, for the elite planter class, for the Jewish community, for new wealthy business types moving to expensive gated communities, in addition to more recent “reforms” Open Schools, Free Schools, and the variety of Alternative and Magnet public schools, and the variety of community neighborhood public schools, make studying schools in New Orleans and South Louisiana very difficult from the perspective of finding a “national model.” Now in the past few years, we can add a mix of various types of charter schools. First is the Algiers experiment, charter school district. Algiers is historically part of New Orleans, on the West Bank of the river. It was not affected by Hurricane Katrina so it started up with “new” leadership and community support a year ahead of the “Recovery District.” Then their remains potions of the old New Orleans Public Schools, (where I worked) and some of the exemplary schools, historically such as Mc 35, remain as part of that system. Then there are charter schools such as the Morris Jeff Charter in the 7th Ward that is really a community based school, very different from many of the “corporate” run charters, KIPP and others. Now add to the mix Gov. Jindal’s effort to create a state Voucher plan and … ?
    Well, I hope you get the point. All of these entities can find the right time on their broken clock or “well running individual community clock” but, the unique circumstances of each make generalizing to a “national policy” very problematic.
    MJT: Ph.D., Educational Leadership, University of New Orleans.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. LA and the Recovery School District approach (SB1718): A P.T. Barnum Circus | Cloaking Inequity - May 21, 2013

    […] from Louisiana— an educational policy circus. The Recovery School District has been acclaimed as “a game changer for New Orleans” and very likely today be up for a vote in the Texas House in Senate Bill 1718— and perhaps soon in […]

  2. Who Dat Say?: New Orleans Ed Reform Unmasked | Cloaking Inequity - September 9, 2013

    […] also: Louisiana Data=Berlin wall— What do they have to hide? and New Orleans’ Recovery School District: The Lie Unveiled and LA and the Recovery School District approach (SB1718): A P.T. […]

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