Paul Pastorek has served as the Louisiana State Superintendent of Education since his appointment in 2007, less than two years after Katrina ravaged the region. The storm appeared to be the final blow to an already failing public school system. But then something amazing happened. In the wake of Katrina, reformers like Paul Pastorek decided to seize the opportunity to start fresh with a system based on choice.
Today, New Orleans has the most market-based school system in the U.S. More than 60% of New Orleans public school students currently attend charter schools, and a new voucher program allows children to attend private schools in and around the city. It's too early to tell if the New Orleans experiment in school choice will succeed over the long term, but the combination of autonomy and accountability has produced impressive results thus far.
Reason.tv's Paul Feine sat down with Paul Pastorek to learn more about the New Orleans school choice revolution during Reason Weekend, an annual conference held by Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes Reason.tv. This year's event took place in New Orleans from April 15-18.
Approximately 8.5 minutes. Produced by Paul Feine; shot by Alex Manning and Dan Hayes; edited by Paul Detrick.