GOOD

Segregation Still a Problem in New Orleans's Revamped School System

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the city of New Orleans seized an opportunity to redesign its public school system, shepherding in a wave of new charter schools to improve school choice for parents in the rebuilding metropolis. A new report from the University of Minnesota's Institute on Race and Poverty says that the experimental, charter school-happy system has thus far failed to provide equal opportunity for all students.

From the report's executive summary:
The reorganization of the city’s schools has created a separate but unequal tiered system of schools that steers a minority of students, including virtually all of the city’s white students, into a set of selective, higher-performing schools and another group, including most of the city’s students of color, into a group of lower-performing schools. The extremely rapid growth of charter schools has not improved this pattern.

Three out of five schools are dominated by minorities with fewer than 30 percent of their attendees being white. Of those schools, 84 percent of them are considered "very high poverty schools," where more than 75 percent of students qualify for either free or reduced-fee lunches. Fewer than 20 percent of white students in the New Orleans region attend very high poverty schools (in contrast to 65 percent of black students).

More than 55 percent of the students in New Orleans attend charter schools, which the report insists are contributing to the disparities, in some cases, by skimming better kids by setting high qualifications for incoming students.



They also shape their student enrollments by using their enrollment practices, discipline and expulsion practices, transportation policies, location decisions, and marketing and recruitment efforts. These practices certainly contribute to the selective student bodies and superior performance of these schools.

The Institute of Race and Poverty suggests looking at St. Louis as a model for creating a more equitable school system based on school choice. The Missouri city created a larger school system by combining with surrounding suburbs. Suburban kids may elect to go to urban magnet schools, and inner-city youth can attend suburban schools.

Here's a link to the full report (PDF).

Photo (cc) via Flickr user Editor B

Articles
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics

There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

Keep Reading Show less
test
Me Too Kit

The creator of the Me Too kit — an at home rape kit that has yet to hit the market — has come under fire as sexual assault advocates argue the kit is dangerous and misleading for women.

The kit is marketed as "the first ever at home kit for commercial use," according to the company's website. "Your experience. Your kit. Your story. Your life. Your choice. Every survivor has a story, every survivor has a voice." Customers will soon be able order one of the DIY kits in order to collect evidence "within the confines of the survivor's chosen place of safety" after an assault.

"With MeToo Kit, we are able to collect DNA samples and other tissues, which upon testing can provide the necessary time-sensitive evidence required in a court of law to identify a sexual predator's involvement with sexual assault," according to the website.

Keep Reading Show less
Health

Villagers rejoice as they receive the first vaccines ever delivered via drone in the Congo

The area's topography makes transporting medicines a treacherous task.

Photo by Henry Sempangi Senyule

When we discuss barriers to healthcare in the developed world, affordability is commonly the biggest concern. But for some in the developing world, physical distance and topography can be the difference between life and death.

Widjifake, a hard-to-reach village in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with a population of 6,500, struggles with having consistent access to healthcare supplies due to the Congo River and its winding tributaries.

It can take up to three hours for vehicles carrying supplies to reach the village.

Keep Reading Show less
Health
via Keith Boykin / Twitter

Fox News and President Trump seem like they may be headed for a breakup. "Fox is a lot different than it used to be," Trump told reporters in August after one of the network's polls found him trailing for Democrats in the 2020 election.

"There's something going on at Fox, I'll tell you right now. And I'm not happy with it," he continued.

Some Fox anchors have hit back at the president over his criticisms. "Well, first of all, Mr. President, we don't work for you," Neil Cavuto said on the air. "I don't work for you. My job is to cover you, not fawn over you or rip you, just report on you."

Keep Reading Show less
Politics