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No More 'Public Schools': New Orleans District Moves To An All-Charter System — Disaster Capitalism in Post-Katrina New Orleans?

The drill team of Sophie B. Wright, a charter school in the New Orleans Recovery  School District. The city's all-charter system is the first in the U.S.
The drill team of Sophie B. Wright, a charter school in the New Orleans Recovery
School District. The city's all-charter system is the first in the U.S. (Skooksie/Flickr)
"Disaster capitalism" seeks to swoop in during a crisis
and turn a disaster for the many into a profit for the few.



By Alan Greenblatt
The nation's largest experiment with charter schools is expanding.

The Recovery School District, a state control board that runs most schools in New Orleans, shut down the last of its five traditional public schools this week, making it the first all-charter system in the nation.

"Twenty years ago, the first state charter laws showed that districts need not run every public school," says Andy Smarick, a senior policy fellow at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, an education think tank that backs charters. "The RSD is now demonstrating that urban districts may not need to run any schools."

Already, about 90 percent of New Orleans schoolchildren are educated in charter schools. There is still the remnant of a local school board. But only five of the 89 public schools in New Orleans will be run by the Orleans Parish School Board next fall. The rest will be operated by more than 40 different charter organizations. Some are part of national chains, like , while others are run by local community groups.

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