“Locking the Door Before We Got the Keys”: Racial Realities of the Charter School Authorization Process in Post-Katrina New Orleans

Kevin Lawrence Henry, Adrienne Denise Dixson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Charter schools have become the hegemonic “solution” for urban educational reform initiatives aimed at curtailing longstanding race-based educational inequities. The “common sense” of neoliberal charter schools as the cure to persistent inequality is best illustrated in the post-Katrina New Orleans educational reforms. This article will focus on a lesser explored aspect of charter schools: the charter school authorization and application process in post-Katrina New Orleans. We center on the perspectives of African American educational actors. Using data from separate but complementary studies, we argue the charter authorization and application process is a racialized site that reproduces White dominance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-240
Number of pages23
JournalEducational Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016



  • charter school authorization process
  • charter schools
  • critical race theory
  • post-Katrina studies
  • school reform

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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