The RSD under recently departed Superintendent Paul Vallas has received wide praise for rapidly improved test scores at the charter schools, even as critics say increased school choice in the system has left the most vulnerable students further behind and forced special-needs students to struggle to find schools to accommodate them.
Nationally, the system has been painted as a model for reform. "Rapid-fire reform," said Luis Miron, director of Loyola University's Institute for Quality and Equity in Public Education.
"It was evolutionary, not revolutionary, to the extent Orleans used the opportunity of a perfect storm -- let no crisis go wasted -- to do what other states and localities were going to do inevitably down the road," Miron said. "They did that so they could rid themselves of benefits like bloated pensions and give principals the power to pay at whatever level they wanted. On the professional side there was a severe cost to that."
Also, gotta love the way our modern discourse reflexively describes any pension as "bloated".
Update: See also, No Child Left Behind From the Rapture