The Take over of New Orleans Public Schools


A Perfect Storm: The Takeover of New Orleans Public Schools is a series of short videos, that reveal the true story behind the creation of the nation’s first all-charter school district.

For the past twelve years, state education officials and corporate school reformers have touted the dramatic turnaround of New Orleans public schools. National media outlets have published numerous articles and TV news stories of the miracle in New Orleans, citing unprecedented academic achievement in which parents "finally" had School Choice.

PART 1: 17 Days in November

The first Perfect Storm video; 17 Days in November, focuses on the illegal takeover of the state run Recovery School District and its academic failure.

PART 2: The Illusion of Choice

The Illusion of Choice, explores the reality of an all-charter district in which neighborhood schools no longer exist. The episode features interviews with community members and leaders in the New Orleans education system who were faced with the daunting task of reopening schools immediately following Hurricane Katrina.

PART 3: Disenfranchised Communities

Disenfranchised Communities illustrates how privatizing public education disenfranchises communities by limiting the voices of parents and community members. The film touches on the fired school employees, who were the swept up in an event that caused the loss of thousands of middle-class jobs and the efforts of neighborhood schools to attempt to write their own charter applications, as a means of maintaining neighborhood schools, only to be denied. 

PART 4: SPECIAL EDITION: Lagniappe Academies

Special Dispatch follows a charter school in the aftermath of being informed that their school would be closing mid school year and that they would have one week to find a new school at which to educate their children. 

PART 5: No Excuses

No Excuses focuses on the KIPP style education model brought to New Orleans by 'education entrepreneurs' in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.