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Education author on New Orleans schools

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Former Times-Picayune investigative journalist Sarah Carr will be on hand Wednesday, June 5, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Rosa F. Keller Library, 4300 S. Broad St., to talk about education reform in New Orleans.

This week, the NolaVie/WWNO series "Voices on Violence" is talking to residents about quality of life issues -- and the subject of education invariably comes up. Sarah has researched the subject exhaustively and selectively in "Hope Against Hope." The book probes the lives of three New Orleanians as a way to look at the growing charter-school movement in the city following Hurricane Katrina.

Subtitled "Three Schools, One City, and the Struggle to Educate America's Children," Sarah's book gets up close and personal with: Geraldlynn, an astute 14-year-old who returned home from Katrina to a radically altered educational landscape; Adrian, a Harvard grad and teacher at a local charter school; and Mary Laurie, a veteran educator who became principal of one of the first public schools to reopen after the storm.

The post-Katrina reinvention of New Orleans schools is not without controversy -- some cheer the overhaul and chance to clean the slate, while others question its cost and effectiveness. Either way, New Orleans has become the nation's petri dish for school reform experimentation.

That makes Sarah's conversation well worth your time.