But one thing that Amato apparently had not understood was the problems in Orleans schools extend far beyond academic performance. Simply, he got overwhelmed by the financial and managerial aspects of the job at hand, which are part of the dysfunctional culture that has become inbred in the school system.
Some comparative statistics show just how miserable the Orleans system is:
Worse, the statewide figures given here include Orleans. The achievement gaps would be even larger if it were excluded from the state average.
We must also understand that the failure in Orleans has been system-wide in all phases. It’s not just been in education, but in the administration of education, reflective of a broken, irreparable culture whose impact damages the whole state. Even with a mostly-new school board to hire the new superintendent, it’s probably too late for any substantial change to come any time soon.
In fact, even though within a couple of years many of Orleans’ schools may be taken over by the state, perhaps even more drastic action should occur given failures are both academic and administrative. Maybe it’s time for the state simply to take over the entire school district. As badly run as Louisiana state government can be, the Orlaans Parish School District has shown it can be done worse.