Hope Against Hope:

Three Schools, One City, and the Struggle to Educate America's Children


by Sarah Carr

Since its inception in 2002, the Tulane Reading Project has created a shared intellectual experience for the entering first-year class through the reading and discussion of a selected book. With a variety of events scheduled throughout the fall semester, the Reading Project creates a campus-wide dialogue on a variety of themes.

The 2014 Reading Project book selection, Hope Against Hope by Sarah Carr, is a riveting, factual look at the controversial reinvention of the New Orleans school system in the aftermath of Katrina and the levee failures. Award-winning education reporter Sarah Carr spent a full year shadowing rookie teacher Aidan Kelly, veteran principal Mary Laurie, and high school student Geraldlynn Stewart and her family. Their personal stories add depth to the national debate over school reform, and also provide an intimate look at the specific challenges faced by New Orleans charter schools. The Philadelphia Inquirer described it as “an important book about issues facing urban districts everywhere," while The Wilson Quarterly wrote, "Carr’s reporting is some of the best education reform journalism to date…For anyone seeking to understand U.S. education and education reform, [her] story of New Orleans is an essential place to start.”

The book’s content lends itself to a variety of events, including a visit from the author; panels with experts on education reform, the U.S. education system, and other related issues; and online discussions that will be moderated by Tulane faculty.

Newcomb-Tulane College Programs, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5728