The History of New Orleans Public Education

"The surest way to destroy [the] usefulness [of public schools]... would be to countenance the idea that they are a public charity, designed only for the poor."

J. Baldwin, President of the Council of the Second Municipality, "Public Schools of New Orleans," 1843

The History of Public Education in New Orleans (HOPE) is a full-length documentary feature produced by OPEN with the support of the Midlo Center for New Orleans Studies at University of New Orleans, the Louisiana State Museum and other partners. Starting with the city's founding through the events of Hurricane Katrina, HOPE is an in-depth exploration of the system's evolution and how the challenges facing public education 168 years ago are remarkably similar to the ones facing schools today.

The above is an abbreviated version of the documentary. Want the full-length feature? Email


HOPE Partners

Crescent City Schools | Earl K. Long Library at the University of New Orleans | The Historic New Orleans Collection | Howard Tilton Memorial Library at Tulane University | UNO Midlo Center for New Orleans Studies | New Orleans Public Library | Orleans Parish School Board | The Times-Picayune