Tour 8: Beyond the Silver Lining: Education, Race, and Inequality in New Orleans, 1727–2013

Friday, January 4, 2013: 1:00 PM-5:30 PM
Preservation Hall, Studio 1 (New Orleans Marriott)

Tour leaders: Walter C. Stern, Tulane University; Rev. Otto Duncan, St. James A.M.E. Church; Grant Cooper, Fortier High School Students for a Democratic Society; Dennis Griffin, Fortier High School Black Student Union; Jay Altman, FirstLine Schools

After Hurricane Katrina, school reformers began calling the opportunity to remake New Orleans’ troubled public school system the storm’s “silver lining.” While other locales have embraced the city’s post-storm mix of state-operated, locally controlled, and privately run charter schools as a model, critics fear that this approach marks the death of public education. This bus tour considers the history of the city’s public schools, the roots of their educational challenges, and the origins and dynamics of the post-Katrina restructuring. Tour locations include the eighteenth-century site of a school for girls of European, African, and Native American descent; a Reconstruction-era school for freed slaves; and a school whose racial designation shifted five times between the end of the Civil War and 1950. In addition to considering school segregation, the tour examines the relationship between parochial and public education in New Orleans, the role of gender, and the significance of school policy to broader issues of urban development.

(Limit 25 people) $30 members, $35 nonmembers

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