The next time you hear an “education reformer” talk about the miracle in New Orleans, tell them about this chart.

The “reformers” would like you to believe that New Orleans has solved the problem of low academic performance. All it took was a devastating hurricane to wipe out the public schools and sweep away the teachers’ union. In the wake of this cataclysmic event, goes the story, new and innovative charter schools arose, staffed by eager young college graduates willing to work 80-hour weeks. And everyone succeeded beyond the reformers’ wildest expectations.

The chart shows the proportion of students in each charter school and voucher school who were rated basic or above on state tests of reading and math.

You will notice that the statewide average (in a low-performing state) of students who reached basic or above was 75%.

You will also notice that only six of the charter-voucher schools met or exceeded this average (and two more came close).

The average proportion of students in the Recovery School District that reached basic or above was 49%.

Looking for a miracle?

Keep looking.