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What Happens When Public Schools Are Replaced by Charter Schools?


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What Happens When Public Schools Are Replaced by Charter Schools?
Lessons Learned from New Orleans

PHILADELPHIA (January 6, 2021) – In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans radically remade its education system by closing nearly all traditional public schools and replacing them with charter schools. What can Pennsylvania learn from this experiment?

In his newly published book, Charter School City, author Doug Harris shares his research on the Big Easy’s thought-provoking education experiment. He is bringing his perspectives on this complex issue to a lively discussion with Pennsylvania education leaders.

WHEN:  Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 12:00 pm
WHO:     ML Wernecke, Director of the PA Charter School Performance Center
Doug Harris, author of Charter School City and founding director of the Education Research Alliance for  New Orleans at Tulane University
Esther Bush, President & CEO of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburg
Sharif El-Mekki, Director of the Center for Black Educator Development
Ed Fuller, Director of the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy Analysis, Penn State University

WHERE: The event will be available on Zoom (register at and on Facebook Live (

Reporters will be able to ask questions via chat during the event or can arrange for one-on-one conversations afterward.

This event marks the kick-off of the Pennsylvania Charter Performance Center, a new PCCY project dedicated to producing unbiased, accurate, and timely information to advance sound state-level charter school policy. Charter school education is a polarizing topic where both sides argue with much conviction, but typically very little data. The Center will fill that void by advancing Pennsylvania-specific data about charter school quality and equity.