There is a good WSJ article, “After the Deluge, A New Education System” by Leslie Jacobs, that describes the charter-school revolution in New Orleans. Highlights.
But from the flood waters, the most market-driven public school system in the country has emerged.
Citywide, the number of fourth-grade students who pass the state’s standardized tests has jumped by almost a third—to 65% in 2010 from 49% in 2007. The passage rate among eighth-graders during the same period has improved at a similar clip, to 58% from 44%.
Today close to 70% of children attend charter [schools].
State officials have … allocated resources fairly. Charters occupy public school buildings, like regular public schools, and they receive equitable funding for each student they enroll.
A 2009 poll by Citizens for a Better Louisiana asked, “What about New Orleans has gotten better since the hurricane?” The overwhelming answer—offered without prompting by one in four respondents—was “education.”