About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 930-934
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain

POST KATRINA EDUCATION REFORM IN NEW ORLEANS? SOCIAL INNOVATION OR RHETORIC?

L. Miron

Loyola University New Orleans (UNITED STATES)
Post Hurricane Katrina, the city of New Orleans embarked upon an unprecedented experiment/innovation in urban public education. Following a state takeover of most of its public schools—107 of 128—and its dismantling of collective bargaining and subsequent wholesale dismissal of unionized teachers—education policymakers launched a rapid-fire (Miron, 2008) reform movement to convert most of its public schools to privately managed charter schools. Charter schools now hold a 70% market share. This is the largest in the US.

Despite the fact that the state was the prime driver in the near universal move to convert existing schools to charter schools—in particular former state superintendent (now deceased) Cecil Picard--, it was through the local school district, the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) which actually implemented the reform. Specifically it provided authorization to the Algiers Charter Association to start-up five schools as a cluster of charter schools in the historic Algiers neighborhood located on the West Bank, across the river from downtown New Orleans. This neighborhood was located on “high ground” land, which is in one of the areas that did not flood (80% of the city flooded. See Miron & Ward, 2007).

Building on this author’s previous research and writing (see Miron 2008), this paper will bring the international community up to date on the status of the national education innovation/experiment in New Orleans. I will argue that the thrust of education governance and policymaking more broadly are embedded in global ideological trends toward neo liberalism. Moreover, I will argue—and provide empirical case study evidence for—that for institutional (political and economic reasons) this political ideology is rapidly consolidating and deepening, not only in the education sector, but in global society writ large.


Purpose

The goal of this paper is to examine two broad issues and a set of specific research questions (see methods section below). First, what are the relationships among conceptual, institutional, and ideological dimensions of the near unprecedented innovation in public education in New Orleans in the form of increasing privatization, and loss of local control? Secondly, given these social relations that we will elaborate in the theoretical perspective (below), what are the implications for education policy in particular and public policy in general. That is, does this quasi effort—described somewhat cynically by some (Hill, 2010) and with deep skepticism by many (Trent, 2007, Delpit, 2010, forthcoming, Payne, 2010, forthcoming)—ultimately mean at minimum an erosion of the public good, broadly defined, and potentially the societal loss of the value of public education?
@InProceedings{MIRON2010POS,
author = {Miron, L.},
title = {POST KATRINA EDUCATION REFORM IN NEW ORLEANS? SOCIAL INNOVATION OR RHETORIC?},
series = {3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-2439-9},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {15-17 November, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {930-934}}
TY - CONF
AU - L. Miron
TI - POST KATRINA EDUCATION REFORM IN NEW ORLEANS? SOCIAL INNOVATION OR RHETORIC?
SN - 978-84-614-2439-9/2340-1095
PY - 2010
Y1 - 15-17 November, 2010
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2010 Proceedings
SP - 930
EP - 934
ER -
L. Miron (2010) POST KATRINA EDUCATION REFORM IN NEW ORLEANS? SOCIAL INNOVATION OR RHETORIC?, ICERI2010 Proceedings, pp. 930-934.
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