Charting New Orleans' charter school experiment

Aug 13, 2015
David Brancaccio and Katie Long

It's been 10-years since Hurricane Katrina and the flood-of-floods struck New Orleans. In the following decade, the city has transformed it public schools, housing, and business community. Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio traveled to the city to explore what these vast changes mean for New Orleans and the country. 

Student performance has improved in the years since Hurricane Katrina, according to researchers at Tulane University. The Education Research Alliance released new findings on Tuesday.

The report looks at student performance on state tests. It finds a typical student's scores rose 8 to 15 points.

Volunteers help a group of children on a field trip make prints of local fish at the Northlake Nature Center.
Tegan Wendland / WWNO

With thousands of acres of wildlife refuges along Lake Pontchartrain and the Bogue Chitto River, the Northshore is known for its natural beauty.

The volunteers at one small park near Mandeville are working to provide opportunities for people to get involved and develop a deeper understanding of the local ecosystem. At the Northlake Nature Center, that appreciation begins with children.

Mallory Falk / WWNO

As the 10th anniversary of Katrina approaches, many school leaders and policymakers are weighing in on New Orleans' education system. But what about families? At a recent panel, parents took to the stage to reflect on the past 10 years.

Eight parents were featured speakers on the panel. They talked about enrollment, governance and accountability.

lden Richard teaches cybersecurity to a group of educators from around the U.S.

Tuesday was the first day of summer camp at the University of New Orleans, but there will be no letters home to Mom and Dad — this one is a summer camp for teachers. It is the second year of the GenCyber program.

As the 10th anniversary of Katrina approaches, many reporters are looking at post storm progress through the lens of New Orleans' education system. Two recent articles in particular caught WWNO education reporter Mallory Falk's eye. Falk spoke to Danielle Dreilinger of | The Times-Picayune and Emmanuel Felton, a staff writer for The Hechinger Report, about their recent looks into discipline and corruption in New Orleans schools.

Mallory Falk

Of all the changes New Orleans has seen in the ten years since Katrina, the restructuring of the city's public school system is perhaps the most drastic. In place of a traditional school district, most Orleans Parish schools are now governed by a loose confederation of charter operators. What does this new model mean for students, teachers and parents in New Orleans?

Wednesday kicks off late enrollment for most New Orleans public schools.
Mallory Falk / WWNO

Wednesday kicked off late enrollment for most New Orleans public schools. Hundreds of families stopped by Dillard University throughout the day. Some missed earlier deadlines or just moved to the city. Others already got placements but wanted to try for a different school.

Legislators are learning the importance of parents helping with their child's schooling through the success of the Louisiana Scholarship Program.

Over 90 percent of parents participating in the Louisiana Scholarship program are pleased with their child's scholarship school.

The program helps children from low-income families choose the school that best fits their needs. President of Louisiana Federation for Children Ann Duplessis says the program also benefits students' personal and social lives. 

For the past 27 years, Young Aspirations/Young Artists — or YAYA — has provided free arts and entrepreneurship classes for young people in New Orleans.

Now the group has a new Arts Center on LaSalle Street in Central City. They celebrated the grand opening on Tuesday.

Until now, YAYA had two studios. One in the Central Business District, the other in Mid-City.