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  • Video of the Week: The New Orleans School Choice Experiment

    Our friends at ReasonTV have put out a great new video highlighting the strides that have been made towards school choice in New Orleans following the Hurricane Katrina disaster. As ReasonTV Editor Nick Gillespie says in the video, few people could have predicted the improvements in education that would result, but “sometimes things get so bad that radical change can happen.”

    Before Katrina, the New Orleans school system was in terrible shape. As one mother explains, when they were displaced to Baton Rouge during the cleanup, she found much better schools compared to what they had known before. The thought of returning her children to the same terrible system upon their return to New Orleans weighed heavily on her mind. “I dreaded coming home,” she admits in the video, “I didn’t want to put my kids in public school here in New Orleans.”

    But following the disaster, New Orleans has undergone a bit of a renaissance, becoming another labratory for school choice. The state of Louisiana took over Orleans parish schools, turning them into charter schools and later introduced a voucher program to allow students to attend private schools.

    As we have highlighted many times, and as we highlighted in our documentary “Let Me Rise”, voucher programs and other school choice initiatives have a proven track record of success. By allowing families to choose schools that are working rather than forcing children to accept a second-rate education, real progress can be made.

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to Video of the Week: The New Orleans School Choice Experiment

    1. Pingback: Virginia Right! News Hound for 8/20/2010 | Virginia Right!

    2. Lloyd Scallan (New O says:

      What Katrina did was drive the Orleans Parish students into neighboring Parish school districts thus adversely effecting those studends and schools. Only a very few public shcools were made charter schools by the State. Those schools, with the help of vouchers, have shown slightly improved test scores, but ovreall, thanks to Katrina, the surounding school districts are suffering the same fate as

      Orleans schools have since intergration became law in the 60's.

    3. Smitty, Pittsburgh says:

      Maybe Pittsburgh can be the next – with a state directed city budget and now less public transportation in the city come December due to massive layoffs and route cuts – the kids won’t have any transportation either!!!

      Competition in the marketplace, including education, is always the most prosperous…

    4. J. Guidry, Battlefield, MO. says:

      It brightens my heart to see this video. To know that in the land of my ancestors, the education system is changing for the better is incredible. Now, perhaps, the future of New Orleans is truly brighter.Thank you to all those who made it possible.

    5. Brian, Landstuhl Ger says:

      Why we continue to throw good money at a broken, antiquated model is the real question.

      The American people agree that all children should receive an education, regardless of their parent(s) finances.

      But why do we need the public school monopoly? Many countries in Europe, including Belgium where there are no public schools, have much better education than the US without forcing taxpayers to fund public schools they don't want for their children.

      American education will continue to be mediocre, until we abandon this silly notion that public schools have to be a monopoly. They do not.

    6. Gail, Beverly, MA says:

      Anywhere that school choice is available, there has been success. Charter schools and vouchers are working because parents decide what is best for their children. Charters that are unhampered by unions have the best records of success. These choices should be available for everyone, not just school districts that have problems.

    7. New Orleans says:

      Over 60% of the kids now attend a public charter school that are in public schools. A good % of the other schools are magnet schools. The Teachers Union now has little control. Before Katrina these schools were a warehousing program for the kids and a jobs program for the for the adults.

      One other item is that before the storm almost half the childern in Orleans and Jefferson had already left the public system. Maybe now these iids will have a chance………….Amen

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