New Orleans, a city remaking itself with perseverance and ingenuity after the devastating Hurricane Katrina and subsequent flooding in 2005, sought to provide high-quality educational options for the city’s children through the establishment of model charter school authorizing practices, starting with a high-quality application evaluation process. As a result, New Orleans public schools—most of which are charters—are greatly improved today: academic performance is better, graduation rates are up, and parent satisfaction is higher. Students now have the opportunity to flourish in great schools, with bright futures.
This case study is one in a series that explores local progress on charter school authorizing in various corners of our country. It explores what was needed, how it happened, and why it matters to the ultimate quest we’re all on: creating and sustaining great public schools for all U.S. children.