It used to be that most kids went to places called schools to get their education, and in those schools, kids were called students. But in recent years, the vocabulary around schooling — especially in urban areas, and especially when it comes to charter schools — is changing. In New Orleans, where all schools receiving public funding are now charters, we investigate what’s behind this new school language.
I started off with a little experiment. I asked a bunch of adults: where did you go to school?
“I went to Newton Elementary School, Newton High School.”
Just after Hurricane Katrina, the entire teaching staff of The Orleans Parish School Board was fired. Last week, a state appeals court ruled that those teachers were denied due process.
As the school system has rebuilt, there’s been a seismic shift in who is teaching in New Orleans — the city-wide pool of teachers looks different, in terms of race, age, how they came to the teaching profession, how long they’ve been teaching, and whether they are “from” New Orleans, or not.
Eve Abrams has been chronicling Akili Academy, an open enrollment charter school now in its sixth year. This week, she reports on Akili Academy’s new-to-them building, and the issue of school real estate city-wide.
Akili Academy has always been a school of trailers, sitting in Gentilly. Until this year. The K-8th grade charter school has opened its doors in a permanent building.