In the summer of 2005, Katrina destroyed most of the New Orleans Public School District infrastructure—a blessing to many, since the district was one of the worst performing in the country. According to published reports, 73 of its more than 120 schools were considered to be “failing,” according to the state’s educational accountability standards. On one 2004 measure (the GEE test of highschoolers) 96 percent of Orleans Parish students were below basic in English, and 94 percent were below basic in math.Carla Axtman thought that was "disgusting," and called him an "ass."
In the wake of Katrina, the Louisiana State Legislature turned over most of the area to a Recovery School District headed by its own superintendent. That superintendent has begun chartering many of the Recovery District schools, which in turn has attracted some of the leading charter school operators in the country. Sixty percent of schools in New Orleans are now chartered.
OK, fine. But guess who agrees with Matt Wingard?
President Obama's U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan! The Washington Post reported today that in an interview to be aired this weekend, Duncan said that the hurricane was "the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans."
Duncan apparently went on to make precisely the same point that Matt Wingard made, about the fact that New Orleans had a rare opportunity to start over from scratch with their public schools, and they are building a new system based on charter schools, choice and competition.
Gee, maybe Rep. Matt Wingard is perhaps the TRUE progressive here. He cares about how well the school system serves its clients.
It sure seems as if BlueOregon and Carla Axtman care a lot more about unions than about the kids. Gee, how "progessive."