New Orleans Education Post-Katrina
New Orleans education has undergone a transition in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Charter schools have been introduced to the city. Here we take a brief look at what these alternatives to public schools are all about.
There is currently a move in the New Orleans Public Schools system to decentralize power that was previously held by the school board’s central bureaucracy before Katrina and give it to charter school boards and individual school principals. These reforms will make it possible for the charter schools to make many of their own decisions and to allow the parents of children attending public schools to enroll them in any school they wish to in the district. It is worth mentioning that at the present time the majority of public school students in the city of New Orleans attend charter schools. New Orleans education has undergone a tremendous change in the post-Katrina days out of necessity. New Orleans is the only city in the United States where public charters dominate the educational system.
In attempting to understand the New Orleans education system in the wake of the hurricane that changed the way the citizens live their lives, it is important to understand what charter schools are all about. Let us take a look at that now.
Charter schools have been garnering a great deal of attention in the past few years however they are not a brand new concept. These types of schools which are privately governed have been around for the past two decades. According to a survey published in 2009 there are more than 4,900 charter schools throughout the nation and as many as 1.5 million students are in attendance at these schools.
Charter schools resemble a type of educational reform that has not only affected New Orleans education but the education in other areas of the country as well. The state of California has chosen to embrace this new form of schooling as well. Charter schools offer a viable alternative to educating students and making sure that they obtain the best education that they possibly can.
Public charters are funded in much the same ways that public schools are funded. The difference is that charter schools are not governed by the state but in a private manner. While conventional public schools do not have to worry about being closed down if they do not yield successful results in their academics and teaching process, charter schools do have this worry placed on their shoulders from the start. Every charter school that opens its doors must be able to prove that it is successful and that its students are learning properly and learning well in order to be able to maintain their charter.
Charter school are for all grades from kindergarten up to grade 12. While they are publically funded they are open to accept private donations in the same way that public schools are. Every school charter that is established in the New Orleans educational system and elsewhere is free from some of the constraints placed on public schools. However there is a level of accountability inherent in every charter that specific results must be obtained in order for the charter to remain in place. A charter school is open to anyone who wishes to attend and these schools are not permitted to charge students fees to obtain their schooling. Be aware that these new types of schools are a component of the public education system.
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The New Orleans education system is an innovative network of schools making changes in contemporary educational mores. Learn more here: http://educatenow.net.