By Mike Bloomberg
Published on Bloomberg View on August 27, 2015
When a city goes through a tragic and traumatic shock -- whether in the form of a terrorist attack, natural disaster, violent unrest or major population loss -- the road to recovery can look endless. But the subsequent journey can also be liberating, freeing local leaders from the mistakes of the past, opening new avenues for rejuvenation, and turning what is often the most undervalued quality in government -- imagination -- into a necessity.
That spirit, familiar to all New Yorkers, is alive and well in New Orleans, and nowhere is it more apparent or productive than in the city’s public schools.
Prior to Hurricane Katrina, which struck the Gulf Coast 10 years ago Saturday, the New Orleans public school system was a slow-rolling catastrophe for far too many students -- the vast majority of whom were black and poor. The state considered most of the city’s schools “academically unacceptable,” and no wonder: Only 35 percent of students were meeting basic standards. Only 54 percent graduated from high school. And only 37 percent enrolled in college. The schools served as more of a poverty trap than a springboard to a better life.
Continue reading the full op-ed on Bloomberg View