Education Opinion

2005: In the Wake of Hurricane Katrina

August 19, 2015 1 min read

The devastation from Hurricane Katrina to the city of New Orleans in August of 2005 stirred educators and researchers from across the country to consider the implications for the region’s schools. Education Week published a number of Commentaries that reflected a range of national and local concerns that continue to resonate 10 years later. Excerpts from these essays illustrate the authors’ perspectives.

Book tree iSTOCK c

“We have been pretending since 1965 that the little bit of federal aid provided for disadvantaged children can overcome the historic legacies of racial discrimination and poverty. We can’t pretend any more—the hurricanes washed that pretense away.”
—Rachel B. Tompkins, Nov. 16, 2005, “Disaster Equity: Keeping Rural Schools and Communities in the Picture as Rebuilding Begins

Capital building ISTOCK c

“The government cannot appear to be compassionate, and yet adhere to a rigid policy of standardizing education. Compassion is personal. Standardization is not.”
—Elaine M. Garan, Nov. 9, 2005, “Will Katrina Topple the No Child Left Behind Law?

“Intensive academic learning will need to take a back seat to recovery for some students for some time.”
—William Pfohl & Howard Adelman, Oct. 5, 2005, “Weathering the Storm: After the Gulf Coast Hurricanes, Children’s Mental Health Must Be a Top Priority

New Orleans Hurricane Katrina Brick Wall ParkerDeen iStock

“American school planners will be as close as they have ever come to a ‘green field’ opportunity: A large public education system will need to be built from scratch.”
—Paul T. Hill, Sept. 20, 2005, “Re-Creating Public Education in New Orleans

"[W]hat separates this state from others that face similar challenges is its guts and its understanding that small changes just aren’t enough.”
—Kati Haycock, Sept. 14, 2005, “Don’t Count Them Out: Louisiana’s Schools Will Come Back—Again

Related Tags:


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Speech Therapists
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Elementary Teacher
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: January 13, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read