My Review of Kristen Buras’ Counter-Narrative of the “New Orleans Miracle”

“First they stole our democracy, then they stole our schools.”

Diane Ravitch's blog

The first thing to be said about Kristen Buras’ new book is that the publisher overpriced the book ($125). As the author, she had nothing to do with that poor decision. This is a book that should be widely read, but at that price, it won’t be. There will eventually be a softcover edition, but probably not for a year. Urge your library to buy it, or get together a group of friends to pool the cost. Or contact the author directly, and she will send you a coupon that gives you a 20% discount (

Although it has its share of academic jargon, it is a major contribution to the literature about post-Katrina New Orleans that directly challenges what you have seen on PBS or heard on NPR or read in the mainstream media. Buras has written her narrative from the grassroots, not from the top. She has spent…

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2 responses to “My Review of Kristen Buras’ Counter-Narrative of the “New Orleans Miracle””

  1. I’m only grateful I don’t have kids in school anymore. This just keeps getting worse and I don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, unless it’s the headlights of that oncoming train.

    1. Me too. My son, who is almost 40, refused to study and focused on fun in drama, chorus, etc. With the academics, he fought his mother and won, and then he fought with me and lost but then played a game and only did the bare minimum until he didn’t even achieve the 2.0 or 2.5 GPA in academic classes. After he barely graduated from high school, I offered to let him live with me and I would pay his college tuition, but he turned down the offer. Instead, he went to work as a waiter at the Disneyland Hotel in California and used his free employee pass to visit the park often to have fun while dying his hair multiple colors and going to early morning raves so he could leap into the mosh pit—or whatever they do at raves.

      Now, when we connect through the internet, which is rare, he attacks me for causing what must be a horrible life—at laest his criticisms make me feel that way. When he was younger, he had very good people skills. Now, it seems those have also turned sour.

      The reason why I use my aging son for an example is because this proves that parents only have so much control over their children as they grow up and once the hormones hit, that control vanishes.

      But the corporate driven, fake, public education reform movement that is supported totally by the Obama White House and Bill Gates pretends that all children are engaged in learning and it is the teachers who are to blame when standardized test results indicate students are not improving at least one year or more on an annual basis.

      And I’m not talking about an average of those standardized test scores showing gains. According to President Bush’s NCLB, by 2014, every child, 100 percent of them, were mandated to be on track to be college and career ready by the age of 17/18. And if they weren’t, teachers had to pay the price by losing their jobs and schools that performed poorly—-almost always schools in areas with widespread poverty—had to be closed and turned over to private-sector, for profit, corporate Charter schools that claimed they could do better for less money, which is now turning out to be the biggest lie.

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