New Orleans Video Underscores the Power of Reform

What a week! My mom and dad moved me to a new house last weekend. This one is a long way from the Capitol, which they say is to keep me from sneaking in there and playing edu-politics when I should be doing my homework. On top of that, I attended an awesome student-based budgeting event yesterday with my Education Policy Center friends. So did a whole bunch of other people from around the state who are interested in empowering school-level decision-making.

All of which is to say that yours truly is a bit tired today. Fortunately for me, I ran across an awesome Heritage Foundation video this morning about New Orleans’ (nearly) all-charter system and the results it has achieved since Katrina. The video offers a very human side of the story through interviews with school leaders and students in the city. I bet you’ll love it as much as I did.

I won’t lie to you—I felt a little emotional during that video. I shared a study last month that illustrates New Orleans’ amazing, unprecedented progress in education. And as I said then, those results are being achieved in a system that embodies everything anti-reform folks fear most—an abundance of charter schools and school choice, no collective bargaining, very strong evaluation and accountability systems, loose teacher certification requirements, etc.

Admittedly, you can’t just replicate New Orleans’ success the way you’d chug out action figures on a supply line. Yet it seems to me that mounting evidence of the astonishing impact of education reform in one of the nation’s (formerly) worst school systems should cause those who doubt the power of change to reevaluate their position.

Have a great holiday weekend!