Back to All Blog Posts

What's Next in New Orleans

Kids in classroom

The Louisiana city has the most unusual school system in America. But can the new board of a radically decentralized district handle the latest challenges?

“Bad old OPSB.”

When I started working as an education reporter in New Orleans in late 2012, I heard that phrase time and time again. The city was then seven years into the post-Katrina education revolution that wrested control of the public schools from the seven-member Orleans Parish School Board. Unheard-of academic gains followed the city’s switch to a near-universal charter-school system, yet returning to failure always felt as close as the next hurricane. Give OPSB power again, people said, and the schools would slide right back where they started.