A new survey of New Orleans citizens has found that they strongly support charter schools and education reform efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The survey, conducted by the Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL) and released yesterday, polled five hundred New Orleans voters and concluded that 74% of respondents support charter schools. In addition, 62% support converting more traditional public schools into public charter schools.
“These are extremely high levels of support,” said Greg Richmond, President and CEO of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA), which has been working with Louisiana state officials to rebuild public education in New Orleans since shortly after Hurricane Katriana. ”Charter schools are creating significant improvements for the public education system in New Orleans,” Richmond said.
The charter sector in New Orleans has made great strides in providing strong educational options to its students. According to the survey, 77% of respondents prefer an approach to school assignment where parents pick a school. Consequently, the vibrant charter school sector allows parents to have a choice in their child’s education.
The law that shifted control of more than one hundred New Orleans schools to the RSD requires the state to consider shifting control back to the Orleans Parish School Board in 2010. However, 62% of respondents do not want state officials to return the schools to the Orleans Parish School Board in 2010. Furthermore, 74% of respondents prefer to continue with the changes in public education since Katrina and not go back to the way it was before.
“Following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, NACSA was recruited by state officials to provide guidance to the Recovery School District (RSD) in its efforts to rebuild New Orleans’ schools,” said Richmond. “Working with public officials and education leaders, we have been responsible for the review of every charter school application presented to the state. I commend and congratulate my colleagues for their leadership and perseverance to promote high standards and greater accountability. All of our nation’s students deserve access to a quality education.”
“Our work in New Orleans will continue,” stated Richmond. “We look forward to continuing to support the charter school sector and serve as the trusted resource and innovative leader of charter quality for years to come.”View Press Release PDF