In the blog he is keeping for Teacher Magazine, exiled New Orleans educator Jim Randels reflects on a recent retreat held in South Carolina for students and teachers who’ve participated in Students at the Center, a high school writing program Randels co-directed in the Crescent City. Among the chief emotions expressed at the gathering, Randels says, was anger at New Orleans’ plan to convert many of its public schools into charter schools. In an written reflection excerpted by Randels, one student who spent several days in the Superdome after the Hurricane Katrina hit suggests that her own interests in the school system have been undermined:
I’ve lost my home, my friends, and my school. I’m always on the verge of tears. But the worst part of it all is that the public officials—both elected and hired—who are supposedly looking out for my education, have failed me even worse than the ones who abandoned me in the Superdome. My family and friends have food and water and the kindness of strangers. But we still don’t have control of our lives, and we’re still being abandoned—even worse than at the Dome—by local, state, and federal officials who are supposed to be looking out for us."
A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.