New Orleans’ Last Five Government-Run Public Schools Close in Face of Charter Competition


If you build it, they will come.”

That famous quote may be from a movie about a fictional baseball field, but it also accurately describes the real-life school choice drama that’s occurring in The Big Easy.

The Washington Post reports that charter schools – independently operated public schools – have proven so popular with New Orleans parents that they’ve driven traditional, government-operated public schools out of business.

During the just-completed school year, an estimated nine of 10 New Orleans students attended a charter.

As a result, New Orleans’ last five government-run schools closed their doors for good this week. The city will be the first in the nation to have a school district comprised entirely of charter schools.

The Post writes:

“An all-charter district signals the dismantling of the central school bureaucracy and a shift of power to dozens of independent school operators, who will assume all the corresponding functions: the authority to hire and fire teachers and administrators, maintain buildings, run buses and provide services to special-needs students.”

New Orleans officials turned to charter school operators to help recreate their broken school system in the aftermath of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. Before the storm, the city’s public schools were widely viewed as the worst in the nation – not only because of poor academic results for students, but also because of widespread corruption and incompetence among school leaders.
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Left-wing activists liken school closings in minority communities to Jim Crow segregation laws


WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a memorable scene from the classic TV comedy “Everybody Loves Raymond,” Debra confronts her brother-in-law, Robert, who’s feeling sorry for himself because he was immobilized after being gored by a bull:

“You know what I think? I think you love that bull. I think you were so happy he found you, because he’s a two-ton excuse for your life! That’s right. You were a victim before that bull. You’ve been a victim your whole life, because there’s nothing easier than playing the victim, is there, Robert?”

While the sitcom used its self-pitying character to generate laughs, there’s nothing funny about seeing real people go through life blaming their self-inflicted miseries on others.

And that’s exactly what’s happening in Washington D.C., where a collection of progressives have filed three civil rights complaints with the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights over school closures in Newark (New Jersey), Chicago and New Orleans.

The complaints were filed by officials with the Journey for Justice Alliance – a collection of left-wing organizations that includes state and national teacher unions.

The activists claim that students of color in Newark, Chicago and New Orleans “have been disproportionately affected by school closures and charter-school expansions,” the Washington Post reports.
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