The storm ravaged the city’s architecture and infrastructure, took
hundreds of lives, exiled hundreds of thousands of residents. But it
also destroyed, or enabled the destruction of, the city’s public-school
system–an outcome many New Orleanians saw as deliverance….The floodwaters, so the talk went, had washed this befouled slate
clean–had offered, in a state official’s words, a “once-in-a-lifetime
opportunity to reinvent public education.” In due course, that
opportunity was taken:…Stripped of
most of its domain and financing, the Orleans Parish School Board fired
all 7,500 of its teachers and support staff, effectively breaking the
teachers’ union. And the Bush administration stepped in with millions
of dollars for the expansion of charter schools–publicly financed but
independently run schools that answer to their own boards. The result
was the fastest makeover of an urban school system in American history.
That’s from The Atlantic just over a year ago. Guess what? It’s working. The storm is coming.