Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Danielle Holley-Walker on New Orleans Charters

Holley-walkerI want to welcome Danielle Holley-Walker,  Associate Dean, University of South Carolina School of Law, to the blog today.  I hope she will join us regularly.  Danielle has written on various topics in education, but has focused particularly on charter schools and choice in several articles.  One article specifically analyzed charter schools in New Orleans.  See The Accountability Cycle:  The Recovery School District Act and New Orleans' Charter Schools," 40 Conn. L. Rev. 125 (2007).  Here are her thoughts on the recent New York Times article:

On this past Sunday the New York Times ran an article entitled, "Can School Reform Hurt Communities?" The article explores the impact on the black middle class in New Orleans, a group that includes many public school teachers. The article notes that since Hurricane Katrina 7,500 school employees have been fired. Many of these employees have gone to charter schools that now make up 80% of the city's schools. The reporter argues that the charter school atmosphere can be challenging for veteran teachers due to the "bias toward a youthful kind of idealism."  The article raises a lot more questions than it answers.What kinds of burdens exactly do black middle class teachers suffer from in the new New Orleans school landscape? How many of the 7,500 were veteran black teachers? Is there any evidence that veteran teachers suffer in the charter school system? The article offers a new angle on the possible detriments of a school reform movement that relies on charter schools, but there aren't enough specifics in this article to figure out if there is evidence of harm to the black middle class.




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