What Happened to New Orleans Schools After Hurricane Katrina?

After Hurricane Katrina, the state of Louisiana took over nearly all of the city's schools and began handing them out to independent groups, whether they were single-school charter schools, such as Cypress, or mostly local charter school management organizations, or CMOs. This month, after thirteen years, the Orleans Parish School Board has regained control. In the ten years since the storm, enrollment in New Orleans public schools has returned to more than two-thirds of its pre-storm level. Almost all students are now enrolled in charter schools, and the student population is still predominantly African-American and eligible for free or reduced-price lunches.In recent years, there has been an increase in racial and socioeconomic diversity.

Notable alumni include Ernest “Dutch” Morial, the city's first black mayor, and former New Orleans Police Department chief Michael Harrison. All New Orleans public schools have uniform policies and procedures to ensure that students can access schools equitably and that resources are used efficiently and effectively.A new article analyzing public opinion data during the period of reform implementation suggests that New Orleans' black majority is more likely to view post-Katrina schools negatively compared to the pre-storm status quo. The author cautions that his optimistic view of the New Orleans reforms cannot be extrapolated to other districts that may wish to adopt the portfolio model or expand the statutes in another way.Now, the majority of teachers and principals are black; fewer than four out of ten autonomous groups have a black executive director; and fourteen percent of autonomous groups have a black executive director and a black-majority board, according to Black Education for New Orleans. The Municipal Fund, led by Neerav Kingsland, former executive director of New Schools for New Orleans, uses New Orleans as a model to open philanthropic coffers to its portfolio approach to school governance, which would replace thirty to fifty percent of traditional public schools with charter schools in forty cities.According to Harris and Larsen, the thirteen percent increase in per-student spending in New Orleans was associated with increases in the graduation rate of between four and nine percent - very much in line with what others have discovered in school districts across the United States, including those that have not undergone state takeovers or “portfolio reforms.”Former head of state White - who lives in New Orleans with his young family - used to talk a lot about responsibility.

Louisiana's first charter school law was passed in 1995, but there were only a handful of charter schools in New Orleans before the storm.The academic results of New Orleans public school students, as measured by standardized tests and school performance scores, have improved significantly in the ten years since Hurricane Katrina. Per-student spending has also increased dramatically.New Orleans charter schools are run by non-profit groups that receive a contract from the state or district. The question of whether race has influenced perceptions of power in major cities such as New Orleans is not new. This website contains historical data and information on all New Orleans public schools over the past ten years and is organized by topic.New York Times opinion columnist David Leonhardt recently praised the city in his series on New Orleans school reform.

This manual outlines the unified expulsion policy and processes followed by all New Orleans public schools.

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