After the Deluge, A New Education System

Five years ago yesterday, the levees broke. Hurricane Katrina flooded roughly 80% of this city, causing nearly $100 billion in damage. The storm forced us to rebuild our homes, workplaces, and many of our institutions – including our failing public education system.

But from the flood waters, the most market-driven public school system in the country has emerged. Education reformers across America should take notice: The model is working.

Citywide, the number of fourth-grade students who pass the state’s standardized tests has jumped by almost a third Рto 65% in 2010 from 49% in 2007. The passage rate among eighth-graders during the same period has improved at a similar clip, to 58% from 44%.

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