Date of Award

Spring 5-9-2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Policy Studies

First Advisor

Janice B. Fournillier

Second Advisor

Joyce E. King

Third Advisor

Richard D. Lakes

Fourth Advisor

Patricia Carter

Fifth Advisor

Adrienne D. Dixson

Abstract

Integral to communities and neighborhoods, historically Black public high schools fostered traditions, heritage, as well as collective identity and awareness. The aim of this inquiry was to explore various perspectives on what happened to historically Black public high schools in New Orleans and to learn about the experiences of those who lived through these changes. Moreover, this dissertation chronicles struggles for Black public education in New Orleans to show how current struggles for Black education are a continuation of the past. Primary data sources include in-depth interviews with 30 students, alumni, parents, teachers and administrators; public testimonies; archival documents; photographs; governmental documents; and court records. Findings illustrate that while the State of Louisiana’s Act No. 35 (2005) enabled the newly created Recovery School District (RSD) to assume the control of a total of 107 of the 128 Orleans Parish schools just after Hurricane Katrina, the dismantling of historically Black public high schools must be understood within a broader historical context that considers previous policies as well as community-led struggles that forced the opening of these schools. Different than most qualitative research on school reform in New Orleans, this study presents narratives on how educational policy was lived and experienced by those whose lives have been affected.

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