Behind the Headline: How New Orleans Proved Urban Education Reform Can Work

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How New Orleans Proved Urban Education Reform Can Work
New York | 8/24/15

Behind the Headline
Good News for New Orleans
Education Next | Fall 2015

“The creation of high-achieving urban charter schools is one of the most impressive triumphs of American social policy,” writes Jon Chait of New York magazine. “Nowhere has this revolution had a more dramatic impact than in New Orleans, because nowhere has reform been carried out with such breadth,” he continues.

Chait cites research by Doug Harris from the Fall 2015 issue of Education Next to support his argument that the school reform strategy has been vindicated in New Orleans.

After reviewing the academic gains made by students in New Orleans over the past decade, Chait notes that “Andrea Gabor, a severe longtime critic of charter schools, has an op-ed in Sunday’s New York Times purporting to debunk the “myth” of New Orleans’s successful reforms.” However, Chait explains, “Gabor’s argument, as Peter Cook shows, is riddled with important factual errors.”

Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White has also written a letter debunking the op-ed by Gabor.

On his relinquishment blog, Neerav Kingsland wonders why so many journalists, in their articles about New Orleans ten years after Hurricane Katrina, are writing that “results of the school reform experiment have been mixed.” (This includes Malcolm Gladwell in the New Yorker.)

—Education Next

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