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Monday, October 23, 2006

Katrina Recovery—It’s Far From Over

Last week, I was in the Mississippi Gulf Coast area for a few days researching K-12 public schools’ recovery after Katrina.  More than once I thought of Jim Chen’s reflections over at Jurisdynamics about recently visiting New Orleans, and the saying he highlighted that “a single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.”  I knew many statistics before my trip.  But, seeing schools with brick walls caved in from the force of the water; miles of coastal property with driveways that led only to canopies of trees hollowed out where houses recently stood; and FEMA trailers still occupied in a not insignificant number (only about 250 square feet each with a couple of small windows)—these sights were tragic.  Most of the debris may be gone, but communities are a long way from being made whole, and inevitably many of them will never be the same.

Particularly with this background, knowing that these school districts in Mississippi are enrolling 92% of the students they had before the storm, and that many of those students are performing as well or better on standards-based tests as they did before, seems miraculous.  Now, some districts still are in dispute with insurance companies who sold the wrong coverage, and it seems as though few have seen see significant dollars from FEMA.  Even when school buildings are in good condition, many teachers’ and students’ homes are far from it.  Yet, the education leaders’ focus is on moving forward, resolving these problems and planning realistically and optimistically for the future, even if the short-term future is a campus of mobile classroom trailers.  To say that I was impressed by the heroism of the individuals who are rebuilding their communities is an understatement, and I am grateful to them for sharing their stories with me.

Posted by Kristi Bowman on October 23, 2006 at 03:01 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink


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» Carnival of Hurricane Relief, #61 from Kicking Over My Traces
This is the 61st Carnival of Hurricane Relief. The first was hosted by Glenn Reynolds at the urging of Hugh Hewitt with the support of N.Z. Bear in direct response to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast. One from the ... [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 26, 2006 9:13:14 AM


This post will be included in today's edition of the "Carnival of Hurricane Relief." I would also like to bring to your attention the CoHR special Christmas shopping edition, coming up in in two weeks. We're currently beating the bushes for business, individuals and non-profits who wish to be listed (no charge). For details, please see the webpage at http://www.cehwiedel.com/cohr/Xmas/2006/

Posted by: cehwiedel | Oct 26, 2006 8:34:29 AM

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