Mercedes Schneider here examines how the New Orleans Recovery School District has been falsely portrayed as a “miracle.”

It is an important national story, which the privatization movement has endlessly retold in hopes of persuading the American public that the problem with public schools is that they are democratically controlled. They want us to believe, as Arne Duncan once said, that Hurricane Katrina was the best thing that ever happened to education in New Orleans. It wiped out the public school system, destroyed the teachers’ union, and cleared the way for massive privatization.