The End of Neighborhood Schools | NPR

I spent a few days looking at New Orleans’ switch to a charter school system for NPR. This assignment was a ton of fun to shoot, but a truly serious story about a topic that has generated a lot of controversy in the Crescent City and has drawn attention from across the country. The published version can be seen here.

Kindergarten teacher Jane Clark asks students to line up at the end of recess at KIPP Central City Primary School in New Orleans.

Kindergarten teacher Jane Clark asks students to line up at the end of recess at KIPP Central City Primary School in New Orleans.

A student reads while waiting for the end of class at the Bricolage Acedemy. The school serves a diverse mixture of kindergartners and first graders from space borrowed from a synagogue.

A student reads while waiting for the end of class at the Bricolage Acedemy. The school serves a diverse mixture of kindergartners and first graders from space borrowed from a synagogue.

Nathlynn DellandeÕs grandchildren, Chloe Dellande, 7, and Ashton Dellande Jr., 5, live in New Orleans East but attend Arthur Ashe Charter School in neighboring Gentilly.

Nathlynn Dellande’s grandchildren, Chloe Dellande, 7, and Ashton Dellande Jr., 5, live in New Orleans East but attend Arthur Ashe Charter School in neighboring Gentilly.

KIPP Central City Primary students on the school's playground during recess. The school is housed in the former William J. Guste Elementary School, in a high-poverty neighborhood, with a view of the Superdome and the Central Business District.

KIPP Central City Primary students on the school’s playground during recess. The school is housed in the former William J. Guste Elementary School, in a high-poverty neighborhood, with a view of the Superdome and the Central Business District.

Fourth-graders wait to change classes at KIPP Central City Primary School. The schoolÕs student body is nearly 100 percent black in a system that is 85 percent black.

Fourth-graders wait to change classes at KIPP Central City Primary School. The schoolÕs student body is nearly 100 percent black in a system that is 85 percent black.

Tulane UniversityÕs Douglas Harris, director of the Education Research Alliance for New Orleans, stands for a portrait.

Tulane University’s Douglas Harris, director of the Education Research Alliance for New Orleans, stands for a portrait.

KIPP kindergarten students laugh while listening to a reading of the story "Three Billy Goats Gruff."

KIPP kindergarten students laugh while listening to a reading of the story “Three Billy Goats Gruff.”

Signs hanging in a classroom at KIPP Central City Primary School advise students how to behave. The school's student body is nearly 100 percent black in a system that is 85 percent black.

Signs hanging in a classroom at KIPP Central City Primary School advise students how to behave. The school’s student body is nearly 100 percent black in a system that is 85 percent black.

KIPP Central City Primary School principal Korbin Johnson and assistant principal Theresa Schmitt talk in Johnson's office. The school's student body is nearly 100 percent black in a system that is 85 percent black.

KIPP Central City Primary School principal Korbin Johnson and assistant principal Theresa Schmitt talk in Johnson’s office. The school’s student body is nearly 100 percent black in a system that is 85 percent black.

Students at KIPP Central City Primary School raise their hands during a social studies class on August 14, 2014 in New Orleans. The school's student body is nearly 100 percent black in a system that is 85 percent black.

Students at KIPP Central City Primary School raise their hands during a social studies class on August 14, 2014 in New Orleans. The school’s student body is nearly 100 percent black in a system that is 85 percent black.

Bricolage Academy charter school first grader Rosemary Alexander screams on the bus as she waits to go home at the end of the day.

Bricolage Academy charter school first grader Rosemary Alexander screams on the bus as she waits to go home at the end of the day.

Children wait to leave class at the Bricolage Academy. The school serves a diverse mixture of kindergartners and first graders from space borrowed from a synagogue.

Children wait to leave class at the Bricolage Academy. The school serves a diverse mixture of kindergartners and first graders from space borrowed from a synagogue.

A wall in the "innovation" class for first graders at the Bricolage Acedemy is covered in notes from students explaining what they think innovation is. The school serves a diverse mixture of kindergartners and first graders from space borrowed from a synagogue.

A wall in the “innovation” class for first graders at the Bricolage Acedemy is covered in notes from students explaining what they think innovation is. The school serves a diverse mixture of kindergartners and first graders from space borrowed from a synagogue.

Bricolage Academy first grade teacher Emily Ainsworth, seated at right, supervises students at the end of the day as their parents come to pick them up. The school serves a diverse mixture of kindergartners and first graders from space borrowed from a synagogue.

Bricolage Academy first grade teacher Emily Ainsworth, seated at right, supervises students at the end of the day as their parents come to pick them up. The school serves a diverse mixture of kindergartners and first graders from space borrowed from a synagogue.

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