We witnessed firsthand the segregation and inequities in American public education* when Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.
We were living in New Orleans. Jacqueline was consulting nationally, and David was serving his twelfth year as head of school at Metairie Park Country Day School. In the aftermath of the hurricane, we saw private schools re-open rapidly, while public schools were declared closed for the year.
It was no longer good schools and poor schools in New Orleans-but good schools and no schools. How and why did this happen? A pivotal factor was disparity in resources-physical, financial, and human.
Veteran educators both, we decided it was time to devote the next phase of our lives to narrowing that education gap. But how? Rather than work outside the system to create new, model schools, we opted to put our efforts into working with existing schools, helping them find ways to partner authentically with each other.
We believe that these partnerships strengthen academic learning and enhance social and cultural understanding for all involved.
*Read more about this subject in Jonathon Kozol's The Shame of the Nation.