In the past week, several NPR journalists have visited New Orleans to report on education, with a focus on public charter schools. NPR Correspondent Claudio Sanchez went to the first day of school for one New Orleans charter, as a jumping off point for getting the lay of the land for schools here.
He also sat down with WWNO News Director Eve Troeh to give listeners a sense of what they might be hearing from NPR about New Orleans schools in the year to come, and why New Orleans' public education system is an area of national interest.
Like many others, Sanchez calls New Orleans charter school movement "an experiment," one which has not yet produced conclusive results.
At the center of journalists' and others' interest in New Orleans public schools, he says, is the issue of poverty. Sanchez says other cities like Los Angeles and Detroit face large, low-income public school populations. They look at New Orleans' charter experiment and wonder: can schools be designed to better lift children out of poverty?