Friday, January 13, 2006

More private relief in New Orleans

There is a great piece in today's WSJ on one New Orleans school's struggles to reopen after Katrina. Unfortunately, you need an account to view the article. It's here if you've got access. Email me if you don't and you'd like it.

The story is as follows: Top public school in New Orleans suffers heavy, but not paralyzing, damage to their school. Wanting to get the school back on track as soon as possible, school employees and "old-fashioned volunteerism" sped the process along as far as it could go. When institutional constraints kicked in, fast-acting administrators applied for (and received) charter status. When the federal money they were promised was tied up (what are the odds?), the shortfall in the budget was covered by private bridge loans and grants.

The state reponse? Not happy. They're losing one of their best public schools, which routinely steered kids to the Ivy League and of which 99% of its graduates went to college.

The teachers' unions response? "...union leaders hate it." More charter schools = less public schools = less teachers in their grasp = less political clout.

When it's all said and done, there will be an, a, a volume of books to be written on the private disaster relief related to Katrina.

1 comment:

Matt E. Ryan said...

Unions tend to try and stop the charter process before it's approved, as opposed to getting it reversed after the school has been established. I haven't heard of any union activity after the fact. Seems the hurricane kept the union from getting in the way.

Camerer has done some interesting work in parimutuel betting markets. The abstract for the article Bryce mentioned can be found on after a search for "camerer."