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Parents Share Perspectives On New Orleans Schools

Mallory Falk
Kimya Bishop-Cole was one of eight parents featured on the panel.

As the 10th anniversary of Katrina approaches, many school leaders and policymakers are weighing in on New Orleans' education system. But what about families? At a recent panel, parents took to the stage to reflect on the past 10 years.

Eight parents were featured speakers on the panel. They talked about enrollment, governance and accountability.

Kimya Bishop-Cole is a mother of two. She likes the new enrollment process — it pushes her to be more actively involved. Before, she says "it was really simple to just put your name on a list and you go to a district school." Now she has to do her research.

The panel was a collaboration between the Urban League, Orleans Public Education Network, Black Alliance for Education Opportunities, and Stand for Children.

Another parent, Isiss Donate, says there's less consistency in schools now. Principals cycle in and out, and some teachers leave after a couple of years.

"When I was in school, I knew who my principal was," she says. "I could go and talk to my older teacher if I had problems. With the turnaround, it's a revolving door."

Other parents weighed in on whether schools should return to the Orleans Parish School Board, and if there is ever a reason to shut down a school.

Support for education reporting on WWNO comes from Baptist Community Ministries and Entergy Corporation.

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