You aren’t going to do anything about poverty until you do something about education

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

The above line (from then NYC Chancellor Joel Klein) in the headline came to mind when I saw these cool charts on the New Orleans Recovery School District from Neerav Kingsland. RSD turns 10 this year and the results thus far look very impressive.

So the percentage of kids eligible for a FRL not only went up, it is sky-high at 92%. Meanwhile test scores climbed. How in the world did New Orleans accomplish these goals without hiring armies of new unionized social workers, dentists and valets are various other things that could be neither afforded nor sustained? Oh that’s right they leveraged (then) empty buildings to attract teams of educators to run charter schools and gave parents a much wider array of choices regarding the sort of school their child would attend.

4 Responses to You aren’t going to do anything about poverty until you do something about education

  1. Greg Forster says:

    Well, be careful about what Jay calls “wait for the revolution” thinking. You can do something about poverty even while we wait for meaningful education reform (i.e. school choice) to take hold. If nothing else, bad schools are not the only major systematic failure that oppresses the poor – our system of cartelized medical care comes to mind.

  2. matthewladner says:

    No doubt about that. Klein’s original quote addressed people who claimed that you couldn’t do anything about education until you did something about poverty. He told them they had it all wrong, and that we needed to do something about education as a necessary step to addressing poverty.

  3. From 2005 – 2015 Low income student population percent in LA went up 7%
    What about in the nation?

    After Katrina data…..Check out NAEP
    – LA showed less improvement than nation.

    2005 – 2013
    230 – 231 up 1 : nation up 4 (grade 4 math)
    209 – 210 up 1 : nation up 4 (grade 4 reading)
    268 – 273 up 5 : nation up 6 (grade 8 math)
    253 – 257 up 4 : nation up 6 (grade 8 reading)

    Before Katrina data
    1996 – 2005 MATH
    209 – 230 up 21 : nation up 17 (grade 4 math)
    252 – 268 up 16 : nation up 7 (grade 8 math)

    1998 – 2005 Reading
    200 – 209 up 9 : nation up 4 (grade 4 reading)
    252 – 253 up 1 : nation down 1 (grade 8 reading)

    Before Katrina LA improvement better than Nation’s Improvement

    After Katrina LA improvement worse than Nation’s Improvement


  4. matthewladner says:

    What percentage of the state population do you reckon attends RSD?

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