It seems that the Virginia delegation to New Orleans was snowed. Should the bills pass in Virginia, we’ll have Opportunity Education Institutions (OEI). In Louisiana they are called Recovery School Districts (RSD). Well guess what: Despite buckets full of post-Katrina dollars—dollars we won’t have in Virginia—the Recovery School District is failing. Check out this chart.
As Mary Jo Fields of the Virginia Municipal League points out, “This district has been under operation since 2003 and was designed to take over failing schools, but 45 of 60 are still failing. No A's and only 8 B's & C's.”
What’s the impact of RSD on real people? Read this article to see.
I'll close by paraphrasing Dr. David L. Kirp, of the University of California, who has just written an excellent op-ed published in the New York Times about the hard work of turning schools around. Officials flock to New Orleans, eager for a quick fix. But they’re on a fool’s errand. If you really care about turning the underperforming schools in Virginia around, these bills are not the answer. But, if you care about corporate balance sheets, this is the ticket.
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