Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans in September 2005. That means we will see much celebrating or bemoaning the transformation of the New Orleans public schools. The sponsors of the district from a public school district to an all-charter district celebrate the amazing progress that followed the elimination of public schools and the teachers’ union. Because so many hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent to “prove” that privatization works, we will see many more such declarations of success.


On the other hand, critics say that none of the data is trustworthy. They say the state department of education and the Recovery School District (the all-charter district) manipulate statistics.


Mercedes Schneider, a Louisiana high school teacher with a doctorate in research methods and statistics, has been relentless in dissecting the narrative produced by apologists for the RSD. In her latest post, she looks at the tale of graduation rates.


She writes:


The Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) hides information and releases delayed or partial information in an effort to keep the public ill-informed regarding the state of education in Louisiana and especially as concerns the now-all-charter Recovery School District (RSD) in New Orleans, which White and other well-positioned, well-financed privatizing reform cronies actively endeavor to market as a national model.


What the RSD is best at, she says, is marketing and sales.