Thursday, March 01, 2007


So with all the problems New Orleans has, do I understand correctly that the main thing President Bush plans to do in the city today is give a plug to his pet education theory?

President Bush's decision to speak today at one of the city's 31 charter schools amounts to a political endorsement of the alternative schools that have proliferated here since Hurricane Katrina, a teachers' union official said.

Steve Monaghan, president of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers, said Wednesday that Bush's choice of Samuel J. Green Charter School -- on his first visit to New Orleans in six months -- shows that charters are "the direction this administration wanted to go in the first place."

...Currently, most public schools in New Orleans are run by private organizations, and their numbers are expected to grow, to 40, by fall. Such schools ... have been touted by the Bush administration. And they benefited from the more than $20 million in grants given by the U.S. Department of Education after the 2005 hurricanes to help schools reopen, quickly, as charters....

Maybe he's going to do something else in New Orleans, but I can't find any evidence. All I've found is this brief AP story, which says,

The president will meet with state and local officials in Biloxi, Mississippi, and visit a charter school in New Orleans.

That's it? Is that right -- to him it's not a city suffering from multiple untreated and undertreated wounds, it's just one more battlefield in the right's multi-front culture war?

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