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The Neoliberal DelugeHurricane Katrina, Late Capitalism, and the Remaking of New Orleans$
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Cedric Johnson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816673247

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816673247.001.0001

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Whose Choice?

Whose Choice?

A Critical Race Perspective on Charter Schools

Chapter:
(p.130) Chapter 5 Whose Choice?
Source:
The Neoliberal Deluge
Author(s):

Adrienne Dixson

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816673247.003.0005

This chapter examines the public school reforms that have been undertaken in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, along with their implications for African American students, parents, and teachers. After the Katrina disaster, New Orleans embarked on an aggressive makeover of the public school district that entailed school closures and the proliferation of the charter school model that combines public funding and private management. The chapter considers the responses of stakeholders—parents, teachers, and community members—as well as their understanding of the hybrid nature of public schools in New Orleans that contain both traditional public schools (that is, schools that exist and existed as part of the New Orleans Public Schools) and charter schools. Specifically, it explores what happens when traditional public education is replaced by a hybrid, free-market model and how these reforms affect African Americans, particularly as they relate to educational and racial equity. In the process, it casts doubt on the triumphalist narratives on the virtues of “school choice” that have gained momentum nationwide.

Keywords:   public school reforms, New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina, public schools, charter schools, public education, African Americans, racial equity, school choice

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