When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in 2005, it dealt a massive blow to an already struggling school system. Characterized for years by dismal test scores, immense poverty, and crumbling facilities, the city’s schools have seen a slew of leaders come and go with little lasting impact.
Enter Paul Vallas.
This “turnaround” superintendent, while at times controversial, has been credited with fixing the much larger school systems in Chicago and Philadelphia districts. Since his first day in New Orleans, Vallas has made bold changes, hoping to raise test scores and student engagement through signature initiatives like technology in the classroom, extended school days, and alternative education.
This series follows Paul Vallas through three years as Superintendent as he charges forward to make inroads against obstacles that have long plagued New Orleans’ schools.
You can watch the entire series embedded above. To navigate to individual episodes, use the links below.
Episode 1: Rebuilding A Shattered System (October 2, 2007)
Episode 2: Facing A Tough Road To Rebuilding (November 23, 2007)
Episode 3: Curbing The Dropout Rate (February 8, 2008)
Episode 4: Struggling To Bolster Schools (April 3, 2008)
Episode 5: Targeting Young Readers (June 17, 2008)
Episode 6: Mixed Results For School Reform Efforts (July 24, 2008)
Episode 7: Teachers Learn The Ropes (October 17, 2008)
Episode 8: Truancy In New Orleans Schools (February 3, 2009)
Episode 9: Charter Schools — Experiment Or Solution? (May 7, 2009)
Episode 10: The TFA Effect (July 7, 2009)
Episode 11: A New Approach To Alternative Schooling (April 7, 2010)
Episode 12: Paul Vallas’ Report Card (July 26, 2010)
These videos, as part of the “Leadership: A Challenging Course” series, have won a Cine Golden Eagle and two EWA awards. **
This program is made possible by the following funders:
Grade Level Reading Fund of the Tides Foundation, The Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki Foundation, The Wallace Foundation, and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
There are 18 podcasts that accompany this three-year series. You can find all of them on one link by going here.
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