This NPR whitewashing of the New Orleans education reform experiment fails as most education journalism does—absent as it is any real critical questions, absent as it is any effort to honor the weight of evidence in the pursuit of “balance.”
It was bad enough when NPR whitewashed the “grit” narrative, but now NPR is whitewashing charter schools and disaster capitalism in New Orleans.
Framed as “remarkable changes,” erasing public schools and firing all public school faculty (a significant percentage of the black middle class in New Orleans) are whitewashed beneath a masking narrative embracing all things market forces as essentially good, even though the actions taken against pubic schools and teachers in the name of the mostly minority and disproportionately impoverished families and children of New Orleans have not accomplished what advocates claim.
In the NPR piece, “no teaching experience” is passed over as if this couldn’t possibly be a problem; however, when public schools were dismantled and all the faculty fired, the second disaster swept over New Orleans in the form of “no excuses” charter schools (KIPP and their cousins) and a swarm of Teach For America recruits…
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