A decade ago, the Superdome was the site of great pain and suffering, a symbol of the city’s failure to adequately plan and care for its most disenfranchised citizens.
Last Friday felt different. As over 200 high school seniors gathered to celebrate bright futures and announce college acceptances, the Superdome towered above them, a reminder of New Orleans’ resiliency and rebirth. The proud students assembled for Senior Shout Out highlighted how far our city has come.
Students in attendance represented 2,500 kids from across New Orleans who have been accepted to well over 300 universities in the United States and abroad, and have earned an impressive $75 million in scholarships.
In his remarks, Mayor Mitch Landrieu called these accomplished students “a shining example of what this city can be.”
More students are graduating high school, more are receiving state scholarships, and more are enrolling in college than ten years ago. There are many we must thank for these successes: from families and teachers to schools and policymakers, groups that train and support educators to community members and others who advocate on behalf of New Orleans students.
While we celebrate this remarkable progress, we know we still have a long way to go. Over the next several months, NSNO plans to use this space to grapple with the big questions that our city’s schools still face. Our blog will share data that helps tell the evolving New Orleans education story, and elevate the voices of teachers, school leaders, and community organizations working to improve education here.
We invite you to join us as we explore the progress we’ve made and the challenges that lie ahead. NSNO has an ambitious mission: to deliver on the promise of excellent public schools for every child in New Orleans. Our city has made impressive headway towards that goal but we know the road ahead is long. Accomplishing our mission is only possible with the collaboration of families, schools, educators, and community-based organizations across the city. Though we sometimes differ in our opinions on the best way forward, we all believe our students deserve the best. We all want to see more proud faces announcing bright futures next year, the year after, and for many years to come.