Opinion
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.

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“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

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“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

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“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

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