New Orleans #1 In The U.S. For School Choice

NEW ORLEANS – New Orleans is the best city in America for “school choice,” according to a new study from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.

         In determining that New Orleans is the most choice-friendly, the Institute considered three factors that, "taken together, provide a robust and multifaceted picture of school choice (defined inclusively—charters, vouchers, magnets, etc.) in a given city:”


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• Political Support

• Policy Environment

• Quantity and Quality of Choices

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         “Using this approach, our analysts studied thirty cities and found that New Orleans and Washington, D.C. top the list of choice friendliness…” the study reads. “Observe that the top three cities (New Orleans, Washington, D.C., and Denver) are thriving, growing, and gentrifying spots. Is that a coincidence? If there’s a causal relationship, which direction does it go? Do choice-friendly conditions boost a city’s vitality or vice versa? Or both? It sure seems harder to enact big-time education reform of any sort in cities that are struggling economically…”

         The study concludes with “Our hope is that cities across the country will look at these rankings and work to catch up with New Orleans, Washington, and Denver. (Although reformers love to bicker over which of this trio may be the “best” model for school reform, all three tower over the rest.) But we’re keenly aware that progress is not necessarily a permanent condition. New York City, in particular, reminds us that this whole enterprise can be buffeted by shifts in the political winds."

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