New Orleans is becoming an all-charter school city:
The last of New Orleans’ Recovery School District’s government-run schools (five of them) closed this week, and when the school year starts in September, every student in the public education system will be attending one of the 58 charter schools in the city. Five hundred and ten out of the district’s 600 employees will be gone by the end of the week. The public education system in New Orleans has been run by the state’s Recovery School District since Hurricane Katrina hit the city in 2005. At that time, the state took over 102 of 117 schools in the city, the “worst performers.”
According to the Post, before the Recovery School District took over in New Orleans, the elected Orleans Parish School District was bankrupt and $71 million in federal money had gone missing. The high school graduation rate was just 54.4 percent before the state took over; by 2013 it was 77.6 percent. And while those numbers compare the pre- and post-Katrina New Orleans population, data limited to the post-Katrina population is improving too. In 2007 for example, only 23 percent of students were at grade level for math. That’s up to 57 percent. In the meantime, while the Recovery School District is about to have just 90 employees, the failing Orleans Parish School District had more than 7,000 before the state took over.