David Brooks has an outstanding column today pushing back against Diane Ravitch’s change of heart on education reform. Read the whole thing, but this really stood out to me:
And contrary to Ravitch’s assertions, these schools, hundreds of them, have taken their students and put them on trajectories much different than the ones you would predict just by looking at the socio-demographic backgrounds. Carolyn Hoxby has rigorously shown good charter results in New York and Chicago. New Orleans is dominated by charters and choice. Since 2007, the New Orleans schools have doubled the percentage of students scoring at basic competence levels or above. Schools in New Orleans are improving faster than schools in any other district in the state.
Back during the hysteria over Hurricane Katrina some folks — many of them around here — pointed out that many of New Orleans’ myriad tragic and profound problems had nothing to do with George W. Bush but with the generations of liberal social policies that preceded him. It was not an argument that was well-received. It’s interesting to see such progress now that the buildings have been restored but the dysfunctional policies remain swept away.