Last month, the NAACP held a hearing in New Orleans focused on charter schools. It was the sixth of seven hearings the organization has hosted in cities across the country following their controversial call for a moratorium on charter school expansion last fall. Led by the NAACP’s National Task Force for Quality Education, these meetings were organized to explore the myriad issues surrounding charters for a report they will submit to the national board later this spring.
Although the task force claimed it wanted to better understand the education landscape in the Big Easy, it quickly became clear that their real goal was to discredit the post-Katrina transformation of the city’s school system. Over the course of the meeting, lies were told, attendees shouted from the audience, task force members yelled back, speakers started crying, and a legendary civil rights organization’s reputation was tarnished.
However, Bill Quigley, a law professor at Loyola University in New Orleans who testified in opposition to charter schools at the hearing, portrayed things quite differently in a piece he wrote in the Huffington Post, which soon thereafter also appeared on Alternet, Slate, Common Dreams, and other “progressive” media sites. In his piece, Quigley claimed that hearing exposed “major problems” in the city’s charters, before reciting a litany of well-worn and largely inaccurate claims about the school system.
To correct the record, I’ve annotated his piece with actual facts about New Orleans’ successful public school transformation, which you can read by clicking the link below.
Louisiana state standards are among the lowest in the nation, and the charter school lobby is only making it worse. New Orleans is the nation’s largest and most complete experiment in charter schools. After Hurricane Katrina, the State of Louisiana took control of public sch