Wednesday, November 08, 2017

The New Orleans model

Post-Katrina New Orleans has so much to be proud of.  We were the laboratory of innovation where 21st Century disaster capitalism was born.* Our model is being replicated all over now.
The guerrilla campaign to open schools is running headlong into a separate effort from the top, to use the storm to accomplish the long-standing goal of privatizing Puerto Rico’s public schools, using New Orleans post-Katrina as a model. Last month, Puerto Rico’s Public-Private Partnerships Authority director spoke optimistically about leveraging federal money with companies interested in privatizing public infrastructure.   

Puerto Rico’s Education Secretary Julia Keleher has already called New Orleans’s school reform efforts a “point of reference” — tweeting last week that Puerto Ricans “should not underestimate the damage or the opportunity to create new, better schools.” She repeated these sentiments on Monday, saying that the aftermath of Maria provides a “real opportunity to press the reset button.”
Congratulations, Puerto Rico. You're officially the latest in a line of proud "blank slates" now. Good luck. 

*Domestically, anyway.  A lot of groundbreaking work was done in Iraq too.

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