Please Vote for “Hurricane Lessons” ASAP

Netroots Nation lets folks vote on which panels to present at the conference and ours is in the selection. You can log in and vote here:

Search for “Hurricane Lessons.”

Here is our proposed panel description for Netroots Nation 2018


Following Hurricane Katrina, the state of Louisiana took over 120 public schools in New Orleans in the name of “recovery.” A state-appointed board fired 7,500 unionized school employees (many of them black), and handed over most schools to charter school management companies. Under privately-operated rule, schools open and close frequently, routinely weed out more “difficult” students, and push kids out by inflicting harsh discipline. Locals have little to no say in school governance and practices. Some are optimistic that the Orleans Parish School Board will regain control of 52 state-run charter schools by summer 2018. But a return to local control is not a guarantee that families will get the accountability and transparency they seek.

  • Submitted by: Alexandra Tempus
  • Moderator: Jeff Bryant
  • Panelists: Ashana Bigard, Karran Harper Royal, Andre Perry, Julian Vasquez Heilig

What are the takeaways for people who attend this panel? Why is this panel important to the progressive movement?

New Orleans is the model for “education reform” that school privatizers have inflicted on districts across America – most recently in post-Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and states continue to advance a New Orleans-style “school choice” agenda, endangering the well-being of students and of public education itself. What continues to unfold in NOLA offers profound lessons for progressives fighting to uphold democratic governance and the common good.

Why should the Netroots Nation community vote for your session?
This panel is ideally timed and located for Netroots 2018. By summer 2018, 52 state-run charter schools in New Orleans are set to return to local control. Our all-star panel brings direct knowledge of New Orleans-area public schools, and can discuss in-depth how the disaster capitalism approach there continues to evolve. Panel sponsor The Progressive magazine runs Public School Shakedown, which features coverage of school privatization efforts from a nationwide network of education fellows.
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You can register for Netroots 2018 here. Here is what we did at Netroots Nation 2015. My post about my last visit EDUCATION HEALTH ALERT!: UNITED NATIONS WARNS GERMS SPREADING WORLDWIDE #NN15

You can check out new media hot off the press and much much more by following my YouTube channel. You can also listen and download my Truth For America podcast from iTunes while you are on the road here.

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