February 3rd, 2009

Paul Vallas in New Orleans
Episode 8 - Truancy in New Orleans' Schools

This program was made by possible by support from the Annenberg, The Eli and Edythe Broad, Bill & Melinda Gates, William and Flora Hewlett and Wallace Foundations.

What would you do if at least 20% of your high school students missed school regularly? What if approximately a third of all your students didn’t show up for the first week of school?

That’s the situation Paul Vallas faced when he took over the schools in New Orleans in the summer of 2007. And he’s adopted about a dozen strategies in order to tackle the problem.

One strategy involves employing two full-time officers to patrol the streets of the New Orleans Recovery School District in order to track truant students and get them to class. In this episode, we follow those two officers on the job and also meet teachers, principals and truancy administrators who are trying their best to fix the problem and New Orleans schools.

(Originally aired February 3, 2009)

Download transcript (pdf)

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My husband and I watched your Paul Vallas piece. It was really good and made me want to head to New Orleans to help out. Who could not be horrified with the scheduling snafus and why wouldn’t corporations/federal government have stepped in to gather records and set up the computer. That should have been predictable.

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