Education reform in New Orleans may serve white interests and not African Americans
**The Edvocate is pleased to publish guest posts as way to fuel important conversations surrounding P-20 education in America. The opinions contained within guest posts are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of The Edvocate or Dr. Matthew Lynch.**
By Derek Black
Adrienne Dixson (University of Illinois), Kristen Buras (Georgia St.), and Elizabeth K. Jeffers (Georgia St.) have released the paper, The Color of Reform: Race, Education Reform, and Charter Schools in Post-Katrina New Orleans, 21 (3) Qualitative Inquiry (2015). They argue that
By most media accounts, education reform in post-Katrina New Orleans is a success. Test scores and graduation rates are up, and students once trapped in failing schools have their choice of charter schools throughout the city. But that’s only what education reform looks like from the perspective of New Orleans’ white minority — the policymakers, school administrators and venture philanthropists orchestrating and profiting from these changes. . .
From the perspectives of black students, parents and educators — who have had no voice in the decision-making, and who have lost beloved neighborhood schools and jobs — education reform in New Orleans has exacerbated economic and cultural inequities.
Derek Black is a Professor of Law at the University of South Carolina School of Law. His areas of expertise include education law and policy, constitutional law, civil rights, evidence, and torts. The focus of his current scholarship is the intersection of constitutional law and public education, particularly as it pertains to educational equality and fairness for disadvantaged students. His earlier work focused more heavily on intentional discrimination standards. His articles have been published in the California Law Review, Vanderbilt Law Review, Minnesota Law Review, Boston University Law Review, William & Mary Law Review, Boston College Law Review, and North Carolina Law Review, among various others. His work has also been cited in the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals and by several briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court.