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A Modest Proposal for the Orleans Parish School Board


WHEREAS, generations of young New Orleanians were denied an adequate education in the city’s public schools prior to Hurricane Katrina as a result of chronic mismanagement by Orleans Parish School Board; and

WHEREAS, the State of Louisiana, as duly authorized by the State Legislature, rightly transferred authority over all but six Orleans Parish School Board schools to the Recovery School District in November 2005; and

WHEREAS, the Recovery School District’s intervention has led to a dramatic increase in performance among low-income public school students, and refocused the city’s education system on the needs of children and families rather than the prerogatives of powerful interests; and

WHEREAS, over the course of the past few years, the Orleans Parish School Board has shown itself to be so dysfunctional and fractured that it couldn’t organize a two-car parade; and

WHEREAS, the Orleans Parish School Board has chosen to spend the majority of its time fighting over the allocation of district contracts rather than issues that actually impact the educational well-being of children in its schools; and

WHEREAS, promising potential candidates for district superintendent wouldn’t touch the job with a ten-foot pole because working for the Orleans Parish School Board is akin to banging one’s head against a wall for a living; and

WHEREAS, outside of a vocal minority of citizens who stand to benefit from local control, most New Orleanians are content with allowing charter schools to decide whether or not to remain with the Recovery School District; and

WHEREAS, common sense dictates that no one is going to respect the wishes of the Orleans Parish School Board until it can successfully transition from a circus sideshow act to a serious governing body;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the citizens of the City of New Orleans request that the Orleans Parish School Board refrain from passing asinine anti-RSD resolutions that amount to little more than acts of political posturing aimed at the two dozen or so people who come to board meetings to act a fool.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be posted on the Pete Cook’s website for review by members of the general public.

Adopted this 15th day of October, 2014, in the Parish of Orleans, State of Louisiana.

Signed and Sealed,
The Citizens of New Orleans

Written by Peter Cook

Pete became involved in education reform as a 2002 Teach For America corps member in New Orleans Public Schools and has worked in various capacities at Teach For America, KIPP, TNTP, and the Recovery School District. As a consultant, he developed teacher evaluation systems and served as a strategic advisor to school district leaders in Cleveland, Nashville, Chattanooga, and Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. He now writes about education policy and politics and lives in New Orleans.

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