The Myth of the New Orleans School Makeover Revisited

Andrea Gabor

Last Sunday, The New York Times ran my OpEd “The Myth of the New Orleans School Makeover” in which I acknowledge some of the accomplishments of the city’s education reforms, but also cautioned that the charter revolution is not all that it seems. Specifically, the OpEd argues that while the reforms have benefited some students, they have put the neediest kids at a disadvantage. For outsiders, I argue, the biggest lesson of New Orleans is that it may be wiser to invest in improving existing education systems than to start from scratch.

While the OpEd won cudos in many circles, it came under almost immediate attack. Some members of the New Orleans charter establishment impugned both my research and integrity. Because charters and privatization are at the center of important education policy debates throughout the country, I thought it would be useful to detail some of my research and related…

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