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Weekend Reads: New Orleans schools 10 years after Katrina

Chalmette High School in New Orleans was heavily damaged following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Thanks in part to $53.7 million in FEMA funds, the school was repaired and underwent a state-of-art-expansion that included an athletic complex, more classrooms, a cafeteria and cultural arts center.
Chalmette High School in New Orleans was heavily damaged following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Thanks in part to $53.7 million in FEMA funds, the school was repaired and underwent a state-of-art-expansion that included an athletic complex, more classrooms, a cafeteria and cultural arts center.
FEMA/Rachel Rodi

Ten years after Katrina, the storm that led to a radical restructuring of schools in New Orleans:

  • A suite of stories recalls the storm’s impact on New Orleans schools, from the explosion of choice to the disappearance of black woman teachers and beyond. Education Week
  • While outsiders masterminded much of what unfolded in New Orleans, local educators and advocates played a crucial role. Andrew Rotherham
  • A journalist who covered the changes in New Orleans recalls moments when she could clearly see the winners and losers. Schooled
  • An advocate who helped create many of the city’s new schools says the overhaul’s benefits to local students are clear but the idea of replicating it elsewhere is not. Relinquishment
  • Preschool hasn’t seen needed changes since the storm, according to an early education advocate. Ahead of the Heard
  • Here’s a roundup of the best reporting on the storm’s education impact from across the country. Los Angeles Times

School closures, past and present

  • A group of Chicago parents are nearly two weeks into a hunger strike to get the city to revamp their scheduled-to-be-closed school. DNAinfo
  • A mother explains the personal history with school closure that led her to join the strike. Catalyst
  • And a researcher studying the school’s neighborhood who previously worked in a school that closed shares her perspective. Seven Scribes
  • A meditation on the closure of Jamaica High School in New York City and the history, policy, and poverty that got us there. The New Yorker
  • Here’s what protest against the plan to close Jamaica looked like in 2009. Chalkbeat
  • An advocate for overhauling struggling schools says his allies would do well to acknowledge why communities oppose closure. Justin Cohen

What Americans really think about testing

  • Two polls out this week find that Americans either really support testing or really don’t. NPR
  • The poll commissioned by a publication that supports testing and accountability policies finds wide support. Education Next
  • The poll commissioned by a large association of educators, who tend to be wary of testing, finds the opposite. Phi Delta Kappan
  • Why the disparate findings? One analyst says it’s all in the questions. Education Post
  • Here’s what the polls said about other education issues, including the Common Core and charter schools. The Atlantic

Back to school

  • Come along for a ride as Tennessee educators start their school year by visiting students at home, a practice that can have long-lasting effects on parent involvement. NPR
  • Know any ninth-graders feeling jitters about starting high school? Some older-by-a-year girls have advice for them. Rookie
  • “It’s not because of the kids,” says a New York City teacher who’s not returning to the classroom after six years. “It’s just everything else.” Yo Mista!
  • An Iowa school district welcomes educators back to class with an education jargon-rich parody of “One Day More” from Les Miz. WGN

In other interesting news …

  • A new study finds that paying parents to help their children with homework produced few academic results. BloombergView
  • Rupert Murdoch wants to unload Amplify, the once-hyped ed tech company that former New York City schools chief Joel Klein started. Here are two looks at what went wrong. Buzzfeed, EdWeek
  • A tiny but mighty Christian lobbying group has successfully blocked states from even minor oversight of homeschooling. ProPublica
  • That teacher shortage that doesn’t exist in New York City? It probably doesn’t exist in Indiana, either. Chalkbeat
  • In Boston, more homeschoolers are secular, educated, and aiming to insulate their children from school’s dulling effects. Boston Magazine
  • How many more children are living in poverty than there were a decade ago? A lot, and this map shows where they are. The Huffington Post
  • An educator of color pushes back against the call to ally the Black Lives Matter movement with public education protest. Jose Vilson
  • A New York City teacher reflects on losing a former student whose death came after a police encounter. The Atlantic
  • Two Massachusetts fourth-graders pulled a Chalkbeat and achieve impact with their article on sex-segregated lunchtime. Good Morning America
  • The 2012 Chicago teachers strike had many ripple effects. The latest one is an erotic novel. Teaching Now

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