Morning Read: New Orleans Public Schools now to be all charters

“Thursday night, New Orleans public schools as we knew them ended. With a 5-2 vote by the Orleans Parish School Board, the last remaining public high school in New Orleans became its latest charter school.” This article on Charter Schools and Race in New Orleans interviews community members at the meeting where New Orleans became the first city to have its school system entirely run by charter (called InspireNOLA).

This quote in particular struck me as describing the logic of the school privatization push, not just in New Orleans, but across public schools in the United States:

“You are teaching our children to serve. While the other schools are teaching theirs to lead. I have a definite problem with that-you gonna look like me. How can you do that? …”

This is a shocking decisions for a number of reasons, including the lack of communication with parents and children, the lack of choice by not having high quality traditional public schools as a fallback for students, and the increasing evidence that charter schools exacerbate inequality and do not meet the needs of all children (here is a very new paper explaining exactly that point).

I have a few questions: who is funding and lobbying for InspireNOLA? What are the interests at hand?

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