As I’ve campaigned, I’ve been shocked to learn that many people don’t know the facts on the “charter success story” in New Orleans. The painful truth is that 79% of the Recovery School District (RSD) charter schools in New Orleans are failing. 100% of the RSD direct run schools are failing, while 100% of Orleans Parish School Board schools are academically acceptable or better. It’s painful because every time a school closes, kids are displaced and their lives and studies are disrupted. Parents scramble to find another school or take their chances on a new, sometimes unproven charter operator. Often children find themselves travelling to a completely new part of town to attend a new school and make new friends. Children displaced from a school that has failed, aren’t given real choices to successful schools; they are offered a selection of “D” and “F” schools.
No parent who has seen their child suffer because their school has closed, ever wants to subject that child to a school closure again.
Sarah Usdin is responsible for destabilizing the education of thousands of children in New Orleans.
The nonprofit she founded and directed from 2006 until recently, New Schools New Orleans, has taken in millions in public funds and tax-exempt donations every year since Katrina to create what Usdin calls “good charter schools.” The problem is, her schools don’t work.
Eight of the ten schools contained in Usdin’s campaign literature are graded “D,” “F,” and even “F-” by the State Department of Education. Click here 2011.Failing Schools SPS (Alphabetically) for the full report on Orleans schools. The record shows that Sarah Usdin grows unsuccessful charter schools. Now she wants to bring that record of failure to the Orleans Parish School Board. She’s selling something that is a threat to the well-being of the best schools in the city. That is unacceptable.
Charters can work. We’ve got successful community-based charter schools in New Orleans that prove it. Direct-run schools can also work, innovate, and excel in New Orleans, under the Orleans Parish School Board. Good education reform can happen without high-paid consultants and educational corporations that profit from the opening and closing of schools in our community.