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In the wake of Hurricane Katrina's devastation of New Orleans, corporate education reformers saw and seized the opportunity to speed the charter school and voucher takeover of New Orleans education begun a few years before. Now, the Washington Post reports that the opportunity seizure has been fully realized: the "Recovery School District" that controls most New Orleans schools has closed its last remaining traditional public schools.

Large numbers of the city's largely African-American public school teachers have been fired and replaced with a much more white population of Teach for America teachers. Charter boosters claim dramatic successes, but critics have documented a variety of ways these alleged successes result from cooking the books. Suspension rates are out of control, and a University of Minnesota Law School study concluded that:

The increasingly charterized public school system has seriously undermined equality of opportunity among public school students, sorting white students and a small minority of students of color into better performing OPSB and BESE schools, while confining the majority of low-income students of color to the lower-performing RSN sector.
Segregation, harsh discipline, the firing of African-American teachers, kids removed from neighborhood schools and dispersed around the city ... the privatization of New Orleans schools is going pretty much according to plan.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri May 30, 2014 at 11:49 AM PDT.

Also republished by Louisiana Kossacks, New Jersey Kossacks, Team DFH, and Daily Kos.

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