Conor Friedersdorf posts a video from the Aspen Ideas and Networking for Fatuous Dinks Festival, where New Orleans and its post-Katrina charter schools are discussed. Sayeth Friedersdorf,
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu explains how Hurricane Katrina created the conditions for school reform in his city. He went on to explain that the transformation was made possible not just because of the need to rebuild physical infrastructure, but because the displacement and layoffs that resulted from the storm sapped the power from the local teacher’s union, whose opposition would’ve otherwise made change impossible.
See, it’s the sapped power of the teachers unions that’s responsible for this (sub-head referenced but otherwise undiscussed) improvement in the schools!
As several commenters on the post discuss, a population decrease of somewhere between a quarter to a third of a city’s residents would make apples to apples comparisons a bit difficult, wouldn’t you say? Especially when the three demographic features most consistently correlated with educational outcomes– economic class, race, and parents’ education level– each had a significant post-Katrina swing towards the groups most likely to score highly. Might be worth mentioning!
If only we had some sort of systematized guidelines for how to accurately evaluate sociological data….