Unification is an idea whose time has come

Our own Deirdre Johnson Burel spoke at a panel hosted by the 100 Black Men of Greater New Orleans on April 20th. From The Louisiana Weekly:

As legislation moves through the house and senate seeking an end to the fractured system of education governance in New Orleans, the 100 Black Men of Metro New Orleans last week held a “Public School Unification Forum.”

According to 100 Black Men president Jonathan Wilson, “The question is not if public schools should be returned to local control. There is a general sentiment that schools should be under the governance of the Orleans Parish School Board [OPSB]. If the schools are to be returned, the community must be more engaged in the future of public education. A true story of resilience for public education in New Orleans would conclude with a single high-performing school district governed by members of the community by the city’s 300th anniversary.” …

Those two words – “oversight and accountability” – were uttered countless times during the forum, whether talking about the state’s often dubious and convoluted data (as well as unreliable self-reported data from the charter schools), special education monitoring, millage spending, and discipline policies. The grading systems – both at the school and state level – has also lacked accuracy, many noted, when parents aren’t sure “If a B is still an F.”

First and foremost, “We need good information,” Johnson-Burel said. “We need credible, solid information, and data we can trust.”

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