New Orleans sinks public schools

February 25, 2007

Universally educating our children in public schools is a tradition invented by Americans, and the little red schoolhouse is as much a Norman Rockwell icon as apple pie. Yet somehow, beginning with Ronald Reagan, Republicans have decided that eliminating this long egalitarian tradition is “conservative”.  Few tactics have been too low in their crusade to crush the public school system, and replace it with parochials and charters. But under cover of the chaos and desperation in New Orleans, the Louisiana lege has plumbed new depths.

From mahablog via The Agonist, we learn how nakedly they have set public schools up to fail

When New Orleans went under, one thing that occured is that the State took over the school system. When it reopened the schools it turned a large number into charter schools. More than half of its 54 schools are now charter schools. The idea is to use the crisis to have a massive experiment which proves once and for all (contrary to every other experiment) that Charter schools are better than public schools.  <>

<>In order to make sure this is the case a number of things were done.

First all teachers were fired, then the Charter schools rehired the ones they wanted. Most of the rest left the State. Only after this had occured did the non-charter schools start advertising for new teachers. And even today, when ads for teachers are put out, the fine print indicates that certified teachers will teach in charter schools, and non-certified teachers will teach in the non-charter schools.

Secondly, unlike the non-charter schools, charter schools were allowed to cap enrollment and turn away students. So they have been cherry picking the best students and maintaining a good teacher/student ratio…

It goes on from there. The whole thing’s worth the read, but probably only after downing a precautionary tablet or two of Pepto-Bismol.



  1. I must be missing your point. What do you find wrong with having teachers certified? Smaller class sizes?
    This should be good signs for education, not something to complain about.

  2. I won’t shed any tears for these kid-prisons.

  3. Madmouser, I must be missing your point. What do you find right with allowing only non-certified teachers in the public schoolss? What do you find right about forcing maximal class sizes on public schools?

    The goal of this exercise is to destroy the non-charter public school system, by setting it up to fail, while pretending it has been given the same chance to succeed as the charter schools. What do you find right about that kind of deception? What do you find right about segregating kids into the ones already doing well, who are channelled into the resource-heavy charter schools, and the ones who are already in trouble, who are channeled into the designed-to-fail non-charters?

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