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The Backstory on Going Backwards Learn More About The Troubles in NOPS Before Katrina

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Google Earth Tour of Locations in Going Backwards

John McDonogh: Shooting

John McDonogh: Academic Performance

New Orleans: Crime & Murder Rate

New Orleans Public Schools: Academic Problems

New Orleans Public Schools: Mismanagement & Corruption

New Orleans Public Schools: History

Wicker Elementary: Academic Performance

WSB-TV newsfilm clip of OPSB members Lloyd Rittiner and Emile Wagner in 1960

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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Carla J Robertson

Carla J Robertson liked this Article on facebook.com.

Molly Wristen Erwin

Molly Wristen Erwin liked this Article on facebook.com.

Lona Edwards Hankins

It should be a reminder that we are never alone in the desire for better… Just need strong vocal coalitions

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Lona Edwards Hankins

Oh me too!

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Peter C. Cook

Yeah, totally crazy – that’s why I’m so adamant about the improvement of the system today!

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Lona Edwards Hankins

I just read this! This is pretty much the way I remember the system. I was on the outside looking in, trying to figure out how to make an impact. Just wow, I had no idea how crazy it felt on the inside!

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RealTalk GwenS

RealTalk GwenS liked this Article on twitter.com.

RealTalk GwenS

RealTalk GwenS reposted this Article on twitter.com.

Peter Andrew Malanchuk

Absolutely! Really enjoyed your piece. Not sure if you’ve heard about or read the tone deaf piece in the Chicago Tribune on Katrina a week ago, but your article is everything that op ed is not.
Life is good here in Nashville. We had a baby girl July 1, so life has forever changed for the better. Hope all is well with you and Annie!

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Peter C. Cook

Peter! So good to reconnect! I hope things find you well! Thanks for your kind words – I areally appreciate it!

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NOLA

PSA: It’s Millage Time Three School Taxes Are Up For Renewal On October 14th

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Voters in New Orleans will be heading to the polls next month for the first round of several high-profile citywide races. While the contests for mayor and various city council seats have drawn plenty of attention, three important school board millages are also on the ballot (literally at the very bottom, so don’t miss them).

The millage proposal language on an Orleans Parish sample ballot from the Louisiana Secretary of State.

The three proposals simply renew existing property taxes for another decade and will provide our city’s public schools with approximately $38 million annually. Funding from these millages will benefit both charter and traditional schools, whether they’re under the oversight of the Orleans Parish School Board or the Recovery School District. If they are not renewed, schools will receive $850 less per student each year, resulting in cuts that will negatively impact our kids.

Public schools in New Orleans have made tremendous gains over the past 12 years and the revenue generated by these taxes will help ensure that progress continues.

That’s why New Orleanians should vote YES on all three school board millage proposals when they head to the polls on October 14th.


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Charters

PSA: NAACP Charter School Hearing Tonight Don't Let Critics Distort The Story In New Orleans

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Tonight, the NAACP will be holding a hearing on charter schools at the New Orleans City Council Chambers (1300 Perdido Street) starting at 5:30pm. It will be the sixth hearing that the NAACP has held in cities across the country following their inexplicable call for a moratorium on charter schools last fall.

Flyer for tonight’s NAACP hearing.

The NAACP’s call for a moratorium has been roundly criticized by education reform advocates, as well as by the editorial board of The New York Times, which called the move “a misguided attack” by an organization that “has struggled in recent years to win over younger African-Americans, who often see the group as out of touch.” The Washington Post was even more scathing in their take on the moratorium, linking the NAACP’s recent turn against charters to the substantial financial support the group has received from the American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association.

Angry charter school parents from Memphis confronted NAACP officials at their national meeting in Cincinnati last fall.

In any case, NAACP officials have apparently decided to dispense with any pretense of objectivity at tonight’s meeting by inviting a number of outspoken charter opponents to speak, including:

  • Bill Quigley, a law professor at Loyola who filed a specious civil rights complaint against a local charter network that was eventually dismissed by the Louisiana Department of Education for lack of evidence;
     
  • Walter Umrani, an anti-charter candidate for the District 4 seat on the Orleans Parish School Board who received only 13% of the vote;
     
  • Willie Zanders, the lead attorney in the class action lawsuit against the Orleans Parish School Board and State of Louisiana over the layoffs of school board employees following Hurricane Katrina that was dismissed by the Louisiana Supreme Court;
     
  • Adrienne Dixson, a former education professor from Illinois who recently compared the education landscape in New Orleans to “The Hunger Games”;


  • State Rep. Joe Bouie who has used his position on the House Education Committee to spread misinformation about charter schools and engage in obstructionism, as seen below.

Charter school supporters need to attend tonight’s NAACP hearing to ensure that the truth is heard and that the positive impact that charters have had on the children of this city is not denied.

I hope to see you there!

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