Andre Perry

Commentator

Andre Perry, Ph.D. is a scholar, commentator and activist, and the Associate Director for Educational Initiatives for Loyola Institute for Quality and Equity in Education.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Perry earned his Ph.D. in education policy and leadership, with an emphasis in higher education, from the University of Maryland College Park. His research and teaching interests are college access and retention, charter schools and immigrant educational rights. He has published numerous scholarly and popular articles in those areas.

As a public intellectual, he advocates for quality public education. Perry’s views, opinions and educational leadership have been featured on National Public Radio and CNN.  Through his weekly newspaper column in The Louisiana Weekly, Perry provides political commentary on municipal governments and K-16 leadership and governance in Louisiana. He can also be heard on WWNO 89.9-FM during NPR’s All Things Considered.

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Andre Perry Commentary
4:59 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

The Son Who Got Away

About a year ago, Ms. Chanda Burks met me in my office to discuss establishing a mentoring program for black males.  Ms. Burks brought along her adolescent son Jared Michael Francis to take in the conversation.  One year later, just a few days ago, I bumped into Ms. Burks at a NOLA for Life event.  There, Ms. Burks informed me that her son Jared died from multiple gunshots in front of their home in the hushed neighborhood of Tall Timbers. He died September 15, 2012.  He was an 18 year-old senior.

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Andre Perry Commentary
5:00 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Battle Rap

The deadline for voter registration for this year’s elections is Tuesday, October 9. Have you registered?

Regrettably, political and legal battles over voter identification laws compel me to ask, "Have you registered correctly?"

“One percent rapper” Nikki Minaj proclaimed that she intended to vote for Mitt Romney, but later a charged public discovered that darling Nikki hasn’t registered to vote. We’ll chalk that up as an oversight. However, several rappers have made it clear that they’re not voting.

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Andre Perry Commentary
4:48 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

It's Time for Schools to be Counted

When I used to coach track and field, I would tell my colleagues, “A great leader removes all excuses for their athletes to fail.” The same is true in education. Our systems should make it easy for parents and students to succeed by removing excuses’ door.

While empowering, New Orleans highly decentralized system of charter schools has been as confusing. Parents encounter loopholes when they don’t fully understand their options.

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Andre Perry Commentary
5:19 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Infighting at the Justice League

Stakeholders on all sides of the Chicago teachers’ strike trumpeted the phrase “civil rights” so much that it became hard to see who’s fighting for what. Beyond the strike, how many times do you hear advocates start a petition with, “The civil rights issue of the 21stcentury is [insert concern here]?"

It’s downright trendy to root for civil rights. But since we apparently solved for racism, what exactly is the most pivotal injustice that keeps citizens from realizing their full potential?

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Andre Perry Commentary
5:06 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

The Plight of the Powerless

Although Hurricane Isaac blew out electricity for the entire New Orleans metro area, do we collectively understand what it means to be powerless? For too many residents, neither Isaac nor Entergy will prevent electricity from returning; powerlessness will. The silver lining to our temporary blackout should be that it illuminated our awareness to the day-to-day conditions of the poor in New Orleans. 

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Andre Perry Commentary
5:00 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Learning How to Dance in the Rain

The recovery phase of Gulf Coast hurricanes means more than cleaning up debris caused by intense winds and torrential downpours. Recovery also means addressing insistent questions of “why do you choose to live in New Orleans?” While askers obviously have not thought deeply about this question, I do think it’s philosophical in nature. So, I offer a philosophical response with special considerations for lukewarm transplants, newbies and temporary residents who have not embraced the idea of being New Orleanian.

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Andre Perry Commentary
4:02 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

Li'l Wayne vs. W.E.B. Dubois

This week, a Hampton University dean banned its MBA students from wearing dreadlocks and cornrows. In an era of stark individualism, where anything can be said, worn or done, it’s refreshing for a university to set standards.
 
Dreadlocks and cornrows have become staple hairstyles particularly among millennials.  Hampton University’s hair lockout will undoubtedly pit ole’ school traditionalists against supposed wayward youth. But the politics of hair involve more than just conflicts between generations. This is about who gets to shape professionalism, gender and race.
 

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Andre Perry Commentary
5:00 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Break the Vow of Silence

A parochial school parent recently asked me if it’s too late to transfer their child to a voucher school. After going through the labyrinth of enrollment rules, I asked, “Why do you want to transfer?” The parent replied, “I don’t know if my daughter is learning.”
 

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Andre Perry Commentary
4:55 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Bringing Voucher Schools to the Light

Louisiana didn’t become 41st in the nation on average ACT score because of public school performance alone. Public schools can’t take all the blame for why Louisiana keeps looking up at its peers on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Particularly in New Orleans, where 30 percent of the students attend private and parochial schools, the quality of this sector is critical to our city’s vitality.

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Andre Perry Commentary
5:00 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Are We Ready for Frank Ocean?

Within a week’s time, New Orleans born crooner Frank Ocean released two of the most candid and potentially important documents for a generation. The first offering came in the form of a public love letter, which lays bare his affections for another man. The second is a courageous debut album, Channel Orange, which dares beautifully to reveal how those affections shaped his worldview.
 

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