School Choice

VID: Is Regulatory Creep Killing School Choice in New Orleans?

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"Will Regulation Ruin School Choice in New Orleans?," written and produced by Todd Krainin. About 8 minutes.

Original release date was December 10, 2014 and original writeup is below.

Here's the paradox of pre-Katrina New Orleans: For its 10 million pie-eyed vacationers trolling the sticky streets of the French Quarter, the city was a pulsating, profit-making pleasure dome. For a few bucks, the city would happily serve up just about anything you could scarf down.

Yet right across the Mississippi River, the Orleans Parish School Board made the Department of Motor Vehicles look like a model of efficiency. A toxic swamp of fraud and incompetence, the school board was tilting on the edge of bankruptcy, when Hurricane Katrina wiped out much of the city, taking the bureaucracy with it.

School choice swept in as a replacement, and nine years later, test scores and graduation rates are on the rise. With red tape cut, and the teachers union largely out of the picture, the quality of public education has made steady gains in the Big Easy. "We're going to be the first mostly black city to outperform its mostly white state in the history of this country," says Julie Lause, co-founder of Crescent City Schools and principal of Harriet Tubman Charter School in Algiers.

New Orleans could turn out to be the greatest turnaround story in the history of American public education. But the nation's first all-charter district is fragile, and the reforms behind its success could be pushed back—or even reversed over time. "It's something we have to be very careful of," warns Neerav Kingsland, a school choice advocate with New Schools for New Orleans. "A system like this could be undermined by a death by a thousand regulatory cuts."

The city's charter school system continues to struggle to find the right balance between regulation and autonomy. Although the old education bureaucracy has been drastically downsized from the pre-Katrina era, the new system retains a byzantine bureaucratic structure. And new regulations are chipping away at some of the freedoms enjoyed by students and schools alike.

Some rules address issues of equity, while others set limits on the very idea of school choice. The school board has standardized the application procedure for all charter schools. Student discipline procedures are now adjudicated at the state level, with common standards for suspensions and expulsions at every charter school. More controversially, students can no longer transfer to another charter school after six weeks into the semester—a prohibition that seems to strike at the very notion of school choice.

Can libertarian concerns about freedom find a balance with progressive notions of fairness—without threatening nine years of hard-won educational gains? So far, the progress in New Orleans is hard to deny, and has silenced most critics.

But there is much more to be done. Today, only a few New Orleans schools have earned Lousiania's highest marks for quality education. Many charter schools are on the verge of failing, and some will have to be closed. "We're not yet there, we're not yet perfect," says Lause. "We aren't an A-school system yet. But I think we're on the way."

Produced, edited, shot, and narrated by Todd Krainin.

Runs about 7:30 minutes.

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  1. European car companies falsify their emission standards in order to meet EU regulations.

    Europe’s procedure is out of date and open to abuse. Carmakers send prototypes for testing. They are engineered to be as frugal as possible. Weighty extras such as the sound system and even wing mirrors are routinely jettisoned. Special lubricants make the engines run more smoothly. Tape on the cracks around panels and doors reduces drag. Low-resistance tyres filled with special gas add to the miles covered.

    The cars are driven to a preset routine of gentle accelerations and low speeds, run at the highest permitted temperature of 29?C (engines are more efficient in the heat). Modern electronics can even detect the pattern of the start of the test and switch into a special “economy mode” that makes for even lower emissions.

    It’s almost as if, now stay with me here, people come up with ways to get around regulations.

    1. Sounds like the qualifying special at Daytona.

    2. It just proves that more regulations are necessary, to get these greedy companies to do what is right.

      And really, it’s in their own economic interest to follow these higher standards, because [some bullshit].

  2. Will Regulation Ruin School Choice in New Orleans?

    Yes, and by design.

    So far, the progress in New Orleans is hard to deny, and has silenced most critics.

    Ah, if only! I can tell you from the inside that there is an entire block of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), led by folks like Lisa Delpit and Diane “Batshit Insane” Ravitch that is devoted to a research agenda aimed at “disproving” the New Orleans model of school choice.

    1. Ah, if only! I can tell you from the inside that there is an entire block of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), led by folks like Lisa Delpit and Diane “Batshit Insane” Ravitch that is devoted to a research agenda aimed at “disproving” the New Orleans model of school choice.

      What sort of conspiracy theory has Diane Ravitch hatched about the New Orleans school system? You know some crazy conspiracy theory involving Mark Zuckerberg is coming because that’s how Ravitch rolls.

    2. OT, HM:

      Did you see the link I posted last Friday about scientific proof Aussies talk funny?

      1. Huh.

        They do have the most irritating accent of any of the English-speaking nations, to me at least (I realize that’s subjective).

        1. Phew! At least you didn’t say anything about Kiwis.

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/n…..d=10809071

          1. Sounds to me like a cross between Australian & Scottish.

        2. I like it. But I watch a lot of AFL when it’s in season so I guess I got used to it.

  3. Is Regulatory Creep Killing School Choice in New Orleans?

    Wcked Witch of the West? says, “Alllll in good time…..allll in good time….!”

  4. That dude jsut looks corrupt as the day is long.

    http://www.AnonPlanet.tk

  5. Shorter version:

    New Orleans is set to become “the first mostly black city to outperform its mostly white state in the history of this country” according to Julie Lause, co-founder of Crescent City Schools and principal of Harriet Tubman Charter School in Algiers and leftists are working hard to reverse that accomplishment.

  6. Unfortunately, most people are not satisfied with the modern system of education. There are many reasons for this but I do hope that it will be improved. At the same time there are so many diligent students who amaze us with their talents and results (however, if you are not satisfied with your results you can get college essays online UK ) I also believe that these energetic young people with bright minds will make this world better. Probably, we are too tired with all these promises about changes and improvements.

  7. extend to all corners of the world whether you reside in USA, Canada, Europe , Germany, Australia, New Zealand , UAE

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