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Location:near Houston, Gulf Coast, United States

Conservatively liberal, moderately well-educated, and highly opinionated...

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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Charter Schools Again (Maybe?)

I’m having such a hard time analyzing the school shenanigans in New Orleans. From NOLA.com:

Algiers charter schools to open Dec. 14

Maybe (if it's approved). Five of them. For ½ days through the end of the year.

Sigh…. Yes, I get it. They are creating anew – and that’s GREAT! But that means they need time to pull a decent curriculum together and staff it with qualified teachers. Still - December 14? The dates keep moving further and further back.

On the good news side, they’ve actually put somebody in charge of instructional development – Dr. Brian Riedlinger, who has been involved with Orleans Parish education for many years. One of the things he said in another article on November 2 (from edweek.org) gives me some hope for some coordination and centralization:

“It’s really frustrating,” said Mr. Riedlinger, a former principal in the city who is now the chief executive officer of the School Leadership Center of Greater New Orleans. “I feel like I ought to put everybody in a room and say you’re not coming out until you agree on something."

That would be just fine, since so far everybody’s at each other’s throats.

As it happens, I’m in emotional agreement with the teachers union that the kids need to be able to get back to school. Unfortunately, the intellectual side of me adamantly supports taking the time to do things right for a change. I’m sorry, but emotion (and haste) won’t fix what was broken.

So - it's slow coming, and it's only a trickle - but it is a start, and they're using fresh approaches. I'm getting excited for the educational future there...

Prior polimom posts about Orleans Parish schools:

36 Schools - Still Too Many
Charter Schools Approved (Again!)
It's Time to Walk the Walk
Charter Schools - Getting Out of the Box