Excellent Schools for All
Excellent schools transform the lives of the students who attend them. Since students and educators in New Orleans have repeatedly demonstrated the ability to meet – even exceed – high standards for academic performance, we must have rigorous, nationally-normed standards with aligned assessments. And we must continually work to increase the number of children attending schools that lead them to excel.
Equity for All
We acknowledge the inequality that most residents of New Orleans have endured, and are working to right deep class and race divisions in our city through improving public education. Every child deserves a great education and it is the obligation of every school and every educator to ensure equitable access to a great education for all students.
Agency and Choices
At all levels of the system, participants should maintain choice and agency over decisions that affect their lives. Children should never be condemned to failing schools because of the neighborhoods where they live. Educators should have the power to choose where they work. And New Orleans must provide a diverse selection of high-quality options to meet the needs of a diverse community of learners.
Government’s Role as Regulator
Government will best serve the schools of New Orleans by acting as a strong regulator of autonomous charter schools, while only rarely directly operating schools. Government does this by: maintaining a high bar for charter school authorization; holding schools accountable for performance; ensuring all schools are equitably serving all students; and communicating transparently with the public and with schools themselves about school performance – not by making day-to-day school-based decisions.
Our Progress and Our Opportunity
Prior to Katrina, our public school system stymied parents and prevented great people from doing their best work. In the years since the storm devastated our city, the transformation of public schooling in New Orleans has led to irrefutable improvements in both academic excellence and equity. We do not confuse progress with final success. Many significant challenges remain—we believe deeply that our city will overcome them. We believe New Orleans will become the first city in America to provide every child with an excellent public school.