The Raise Your Hand Campaign is a student-led research initiative in New Orleans schools that pulled together student testimony and research from 6 different public high schools and examined the opportunities, or lack thereof, available to students in the years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. The report examines everything from teaching quality and student support services to physical environment and school food, and gives each school a report card and recommendations for improvement.
A growing body of research shows that the typical six-hour school day just doesn’t cut it for many students. Too many schools lack the time and funds for arts, recess or inquiry-driven projects that inspire a life-long love of learning and provide skills needed to be competitive in the 21st century.
The challenges and needs are particularly dramatic in low-income communities where students are the most likely to be behind grade level and who stand to benefit most from additional learning time.
In Lost Opportunity: A 50 State Report on the Opportunity to Learn in America, the Schott Foundation for Public Education establishes a metric for determining the opportunity to learn for students. Providing a state-by-state comparison of both academic proficiency (percentage of students scoring at or above proficient on the eighth grade NAEP reading exam) and equity (as measured by the Schott Foundation’s Opportunity to Learn Index, or OTLI), Lost Opportunity identifies the four baseline minimum resources that are necessary for a child – regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status – to have a fair and substantive Opportunity to Learn.
In the United States, every student should have the equal right to a high-quality education. But as our most recent data demonstrates, for far too many students, quality and equity are aspirations, not realities. Few states are providing public school educations that result in academic proficiency for students. And even fewer states are providing access to a high-quality education to all students, particularly those from historically disadvantaged groups.
A new report from The Center For Popular Democracy highlights numerous issues with the current accountability systems in place for charter schools in Louisiana that leave them vulnerable to fraud and abuse.
A new study of charter schools in New Orleans is challenging the central claim of charter school proponents that forcing schools to compete for students will increase the quality of a city's education system. In fact, the "school choice" system in New Orleans hasn't empowered students or parents.
Gina Womack, Families and Friends
of Louisiana's Incarcerated Children
In Part 2 of the ongoing series "A Perfect Storm: The Takeover of New Orleans Public Schools," filmmaker Phoebe Ferguson chronicles how the city's struggling public schools were seized by the state following Katrina and handed over to private, charter school operators. Now, in the nation's first all-charter school district, New Orleans parents and students must contend with the failures of this massive experiment in "school choice." Too many schools continue to struggle, deprived of the resources they need to give all kids the educational opportunities they deserve.
In Part 2 of the ongoing series "A Perfect Storm: The Takeover of New Orleans Public Schools," filmmaker Phoebe Ferguson chronicles how the city's struggling public schools were seized by the state following Katrina and handed over to private, charter school operators.
New Video: The Illusion of School Choice
and the Failures of Education Reform in New Orleans
It's been almost a decade since the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, but for parents, students and teachers in New Orleans, the fallout of that devastating storm continues today.
Journey for Justice National Director Jitu Brown at a
rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in May 2014.
After the rally, organizers marched to the U.S. Dept.
of Justice to file the three civil rights complaints.
This post originally appeared on Education Opportunity Network.