Before Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans in 2005, Orleans Parish public schools were failing miserably. After the storm shut down the public school system completely, there was little reason to be optimistic.
But then something amazing happened.
The state of Louisiana took control over most of the schools in the district and has been chartering those schools ever since. This fall, more than 70 percent of the students in New Orleans will attend charter schools. (Check out reason.tv’s Katrina’s Silver Lining to learn more about the New Orleans charter school revolution.)
And then in 2008, Louisiana enacted the Student Scholarship for Educational Excellence Program, a pilot voucher program designed to allow students in failing schools to attend private schools in the area.