Behind the Headline: Has Gentrification Begun in New Orleans Public Schools?

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Has Gentrification Begun in New Orleans Public Schools? | 9/3/15

Behind the Headline
Diverse Charter Schools
Education Next| Winter 2013

While public schools in New Orleans educate mainly children from poor families, “several new schools are attracting families who could afford private or parochial school, the same type of families who started leaving the school system 45 years ago,” writes Danielle Dreilinger on

It would have been unthinkable 10 years ago: middle- and upper-class New Orleanians clamoring to get their 5-year-olds into a C-graded public school. Or a school so new that the state hasn’t ranked it, one that doesn’t prioritize smart kids or students from wealthy neighborhoods.

Dreilinger interviews several New Orleans parents from different backgrounds about their search for good schools for their children.

A handful of New Orleans schools joined together last year to help launch the National Coalition of Diverse Charter Schools an organization for schools that are designed to appeal to families from diverse backgrounds, Dreilinger notes.

For more on this phenomenon:

• Alexander Russo wrote about diverse charter schools for Education Next in 2013. The subtitle of the piece: “popular, controversial, and a challenge to run successfully”

• Mike Petrilli wrote about how to create diverse schools in gentrifying urban neighborhoods here.

• The Summer 2015 issue of Education Next included “More Middle Class Families Choose Charters: A political game changer for public school choice?” by Richard Whitmire.

And there’s plenty of great material on New Orleans from Education Next here.

– Education Next

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