New Orleans Charter School Classroom

Source: Sylvanie Williams College Prep by Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christia / Getty

Ten years after the waters rose and fell in New Orleans, with devastating results, the city’s education landscape has been transformed. Public school enrollment is only 70 percent of what it was before Hurricane Katrina hit in August 2005, and ninety-three percent of New Orleans’ students now attend charter schools — the highest rate in the nation.

Meanwhile the city’s Black population has shrunk to 59 percent of residents in 2013, compared with 66 percent in 2005 (though despite that decline, nearly 9 out of 10  public school students in New Orleans were Black in 2013).

Given all of that, where do we go from here to give New Orleans’ children the best education possible? On Wednesday, August 26 the National Urban League, in partnership with the Urban League of Greater New Orleans, is convening a town hall meeting on the topic. NewsOne.com will live stream the discussion, kicking off at 11 a.m. ET/10 a.m. CT.

Moderated by Camille Whitworth, co-anchor of WDSU-TV in New Orleans, the discussion will include Melanie Bronfin, executive director of Policy Institute for Children; Darryl Kilbert, former superintendent of Orleans Parish School Board; Erika McConduit-Diggs, president & CEO of Urban League of Greater New Orleans; Karen Carter Peterson, state senator of Louisiana State Legislature District 5; Charles Rice, president & CEO of Entergy New Orleans; and John White, state superintendent of the Louisiana Department of Education.

John King, a senior adviser delegated duties as U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education, will give the keynote preceding the discussion. Jamie Merisotis, president & CEO of Lumina Foundation, will speak after the town hall.

The town hall is part of this week’s National Urban League’s RISE: Katrina 10 conference in New Orleans.

Bookmark this page to view the live stream starting 11 am ET/10 am CT on Wednesday.

According to a press release by the NUL:

The Urban League of Greater New Orleans (ULGNO) in partnership with the National Urban League will convene both local and national experts on topics of education, housing, workforce and economic development, criminal justice, healthcare, environmental justice, disaster preparedness, and civic engagement in post-Katrina New Orleans, as the organization commemorates the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.  The conference, titled “RISE: Katrina 10,” will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana August 26-29, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, 601 Loyola Avenue.

“The theme of the conference ‘RISE: Katrina 10,’ symbolizes the continual growth in our city’s re-emergence,” said Erika McConduit-Diggs, President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater New Orleans. “While there will be many worthy commemorations taking place throughout the city, the goal of this conference is to substantively evaluate the last decade and make systemic recommendations for continued improvement for all New Orleanians.”

Learn more about RISE: Katrina 10 here and follow the discussion on Twitter at #RiseNOLA.

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