TREE and Gideon’s Army are excited to announce an important event in Nashville, Sunday, Nov. 2. Karran Harper Royal and Dr. Kristen Buras will discuss the impact of education reform on the students, teachers, and schools of New Orleans, LA–the nation’s first all-charter school district, and one that is frequently hailed as a blueprint by various “reformers” in Tennessee.
Kristen Buras is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at Georgia State University. She is the author of Charter Schools, Race, and Urban Space: Where the Market Meets Grassroots Resistance, which chronicles the past decade of education reform in her hometown of New Orleans. Karran Harper Royal is an education advocate in New Orleans. She has been a public school parent for the last 23 years and has has worked with various community groups uplifting parent and community voices in public education.
“This Tuesday, October 21st, the State of Louisiana released their RSD (Recovery School District) performance scores,” reports Karran Harper Royal. “While the state average rose from 88.5 in 2013 (on a 150 point scale) to 89.2 in 2014, the RSD New Orleans average dropped from 71.9 to 71.2 during this same time period. Does Nashville really want to follow this model?”
The speaking event “Is School Choice an Empty Promise? What Nashville Can Learn from New Orleans” will be an informative discussion about the real outcomes of charter school expansion. It will also provide an opportunity for concerned community members in Nashville to raise questions about access, achievement, equity, and accountability. The chance to dialogue across cities is a unique opportunity and is well-timed in light of recent proposals to create an all-choice zone in East Nashville. New Orleans has also been used as a model for school plans in Memphis, and for the creation of the Achievement School District.
The event will be held at the East Park Community Center, 600 Woodland Street, Nashville, TN 37206 on Sunday, November 2nd. The speakers will begin at 3pm and a question and answer period will follow. This event is free and open to the public.
Seating is limited. RSVP online is recommended.
Kristen Buras received her doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at Georgia State University in Atlanta. She is the author of Charter Schools, Race, and Urban Space: Where the Market Meets Grassroots Resistance, and coauthor of Pedagogy, Policy, and the Privatized City: Stories of Dispossession and Defiance from New Orleans, which was recognized for its outstanding contribution by the Curriculum Studies Division of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Buras has published in peer-reviewed journals such as Harvard Educational Review; Race, Ethnicity, and Education; and Educational Policy. She has also contributed to a wide range of edited books. She has worked extensively with teachers, public schools, and grassroots organizations in New Orleans, where she was born and raised. She is cofounder and director of the New Orleans-based Urban South Grassroots Research Collective for Public Education and was granted the Distinguished Scholar-Activist Award by Critical Educators for Social Justice of AERA. Buras served as associate editor for the Journal of Education Policy and is a current member of the National Education Policy Center’s “Think Twice” review panel. Buras is considered a leading expert on urban charter schools and has studied education reform in New Orleans for the past decade. You may order Dr. Buras’s book directly from the publisher and receive a discount. Download this flyer for complete instructions.
Karran Harper Royal is an education advocate in New Orleans. She has been a public school parent for the last 23 years and has worked with various community groups, uplifting parent and community voices in public education. She blogs at www.edutalknola.com
Tennesseans Reclaiming Educational Excellence (TREE) is a state-wide volunteer advocacy organization rooted in fighting for strong, equitable public education and is committed to growing child-centered education policy. (treetn.org)
Gideon’s Army: Grassroots Army for Children is a Nashville-based children’s advocacy group acting collectively, boldly and strategically as a unified force for all children. We eliminate the root causes of the prison pipeline, save our children from death and incarceration, and guide them on a secure path to success. (facebook.com/GideonsArmyUnited)