Jan Resseger is a former chair of the National Council of Churches Committee on Public Education and previously worked for the United Church of Christ. She has published several error-filled blog posts on New Orleans’ school reforms over the years, often rehashing the misinformation of reform critics like Mercedes Schneider, Mike Deshotels, and Kristen Buras.
In fact, her most recent blog post on New Orleans is focuses on a recent “study” (if you can even call it that) from Buras on Douglass High School, which is now known as KIPP Renaissance High, one of the highest performing schools in the city. As would be expected, Buras paints a idealized picture of Douglass High before the storm, glossing over the fact that it was the second-lowest performing school in the entire city and was essentially a “dropout factory.” Both Buras and Resseger apparently believe that the vastly improved circumstances that students at Douglass now find themselves in – high graduation and college acceptance rates in a school that enrolls nearly all low-income African-American students – are an “injustice.”
You can read my annotations on their take on Douglass by clicking the link below.
In “Frederick Douglass High School in New Orleans: School Closings, Race, and the Dangers of Policy without History,” Kristen Buras quotes New Orleans’ school superintendent Paul Vallas from 2008—back when technocracy and privatization became mixed with the New Orleans’ recovery from Hurricane Katrina. Vallas was working with Paul Pastorek, Louisiana’s state school superintendent, to impose…