The New Orleans Imperative began broadcasting in March 2009 as the only weekly radio show that focused on public education in New Orleans. The show presents to the citizenry of New Orleans the critical issues related to the most important community function: a quality public education system. The New Orleans Imperative is built on the premise that nurturing and fostering public awareness around public education is essential in creating an environment where equity and excellence is a standard for all children. Post Hurricane Katrina the public school district’s landscape changed drastically as state officials began an experiment that took control of most of the public schools to create the first all charter public school district; with that New Orleans has the largest percentage of charter schools than any city in the country. This experiment has been lauded by state education officials and the main stream local media as a success with unprecedented student achievement. However just a cursory examination of the data reveals a much different reality, the schools taken over by the state in this experiment perform worst academically than any school district in the state of Louisiana. While the original intent of charter schools was to be inclusive entities that served all children, many charter schools in New Orleans are exclusive entities that selects students by class and race in a market driven system that ignores the fundamental value of public education; collective responsibility.

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