No Easy Road to Choice
Ensuring that families have their pick of an array of attractive public schools has been tricky in post-Katrina New Orleans.
On a sunny Saturday here three days before Mardi Gras, educator Kristin L. Moody and lawyer Robert J. Burvant could be found canvassing a stretch of Canal Street, recruiting students for their new charter school. Sporting burgundy T-shirts with the school’s name, the two made their sales pitch to clusters of family and friends gathered for a parade along the broad boulevard in Mid-City. “Do you know of any 8th graders looking for a good high school next year?”
Ms. Moody asked one group. Ms. Moody, who left a teaching job in Los Angeles to co-found the planned Sojourner Truth Academy, and Mr. Burvant, a New Orleans native who chairs the school’s board, got a few nibbles. But they clearly had a lot of work ahead to get the word out about their school and sign up families.
In the new educational landscape of New Orleans—where public school choice is a fundamental element—pounding the pavement to drum up students has...
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