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ERIC Number: EJ1169665
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jan
Pages: 39
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1947-5578
New Orleans Education Reform: A Guide for Cities or a Warning for Communities? (Grassroots Lessons Learned, 2005-2012)
Buras, Kristen L.
Berkeley Review of Education, v4 n1 p123-160 Jan 2013
Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu, co-chair of the Senate Public Charter School Caucus in Washington, DC, hosted a forum for education policymakers. It centered on "New Orleans-Style Education Reform: A Guide for Cities (Lessons Learned, 2004-2010)," a report published by the charter school incubator New Schools for New Orleans (NSNO). Through human capital and charter school development, the report asserts, New Orleans has become a national leader in education reform. In this essay, members of Urban South Grassroots Research Collective, including education scholars and those affiliated with longstanding educational and cultural organizations in New Orleans, reveal that such reform has been destructive to African American students, teachers, and neighborhoods. Inspired by critical race theory and the role of experiential knowledge in challenging dominant narratives, authors draw heavily on testimony from community-based education groups, which have typically been ignored, regarding the inequitable effects of New Orleans' school reform. While the "Guide for Cities" is used as a sounding board for concerns and critiques, this essay challenges claims that have circulated nationally since 2005--ones that laud New Orleans as a model to be followed. This essay also charts the elite policy network that has shaped the city's reform, with NSNO playing a central part, in order to reveal the accumulative interests of education entrepreneurs. A postscript ["New Orleans Students Protest for Quality Education and the Right to Fairness and Dignity" (Adrienne D. Dixson, Ashana Bigard, and Walter Cohen High School students)] illustrating parent and student resistance to charter school reform in New Orleans reminds urban communities elsewhere that current reforms are not a guide but a threat to those struggling for racial and educational justice. [This article was written in conjunction with the members of Urban South Grassroots Research Collective.]
Berkeley Graduate School of Education, University of California, 5648 Tolman Hall, Berkeley, CA 94702. Tel: 510-328-3701; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Louisiana (New Orleans)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A