March 16, 2007

Good Morning:

Do you think public schools in New Orleans are better now than they were before Hurricane Katrina? Do you think they will be better or worse in the future? How important is it for a student to attend a school in his or her neighborhood? Are there more discipline problems in schools now than before Hurricane Katrina? Are charter schools the answer?

I need to know your answers to these questions. The children of New Orleans need to know your answers. These questions are from a survey located at The survey is part of a study launched this week by the New Orleans City Council Education Committee, Tulane University’s Scott S. Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives and the Greater New Orleans Education Foundation.

This “State of NOLA Schools” study will include all public schools in New Orleans, including schools operated by the Recovery School District, the Orleans Parish School Board and charter schools.  The results of this survey, along with information gathered from a community town hall meeting held March 21 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at City Hall, as well as meetings with community organizations, school leaders and elected officials, will be summarized in a report that will be published in mid-May.

The report will be shared with Louisiana legislators who, in their upcoming session, will make decisions that will affect our schools and children. It is critical that they base their decisions on research and knowledge. This study will also provide a baseline from which to measure the progress of our schools in the future.

I believe that nearly all of the challenges we face in our city can be met by a well-educated citizenry. The survey only takes five minutes to complete, but its results can be used to guide decisions that will last for generations. Please give us five minutes.

Have a great weekend,


Office of the President Emeritus, 1555 Poydras St, Suite 700, New Orleans, LA 70112 504-274-3638