Reinventing America’s Schools

Sarah Usdin

Orleans Parish School Board Member New Orleans

I feel like we get put up as this example of this national success story, and yet we still have kids who aren't in great schools. So until they're all there, I worry about where we are. Honestly the work that has been done is monumental. And yet there's still so much further to go. But I do think that as we are looking at what has gotten us to where we are from where we started, we're on a path to how we can see that becoming possible, as long as we stick to making decisions that are about students and their achievement, and what's possible for them, in improving their lives, and listen to them and their families.

There are all these discussions about charter versus non-charter, voucher versus not voucher, district school versus not district school. Honestly, does a kid care? Does a parent care? No. Do they want to walk into a building where they feel it humming and they see great leadership and inspired teachers of all backgrounds? Some may be certified, some may be not certified. It's the outcomes and what happens in that magic of an interaction of a learning moment, and how do we allow those to happen and peel away the labels and the fights about those labels, that are all mainly adults about power and money. Because if you go talk to students, and you talk to parents, they want the best for their kid, and all of the stuff that we fight about so often really is irrelevant to them.

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