Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Is The New Orleans School System The Template For Fixing Other Inner City Schools?

From The Wall Street Journal, Opinion, "A Fresh Turn in the New Orleans Charter School Miracle: Oversight will revert to the city from the state, but with safeguards to ensure that gains remain intact." by John White:
Undeniable progress has been made: Although New Orleans public schools serve one-third fewer students than they did before Katrina, they send twice as many to college. But further progress, in a city rife with poverty and social stratification, has also required transforming the district’s central office from a disorganized instrument of political interests to a focused regulator protecting the rights of disadvantaged children
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Each [nonprofit organization that operates a charter] school signs a contract with its regulator—either the state or the local board—that includes performance objectives and requirements for responsible operation. Nonprofit groups that miss academic targets or prove unable to capably serve students with disabilities, for example, have lost their license to operate and been replaced.

This approach has evolved beyond assuring compliance toward aggressively protecting individual students’ civil rights. In 2011, school leaders and regulators created a citywide enrollment process whereby all families complete one application for admission to New Orleans’s charter schools. Parents can apply to any school in any neighborhood, and schools must accept all assigned students.

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