Sarah Carr
Sarah Carr is a senior editor. She has written about education for the last 13 years, reporting on battles over school vouchers, efforts to educate China’s massive population of migrant children, and the explosion of charter schools in post-Katrina New Orleans. She is the author of Hope Against Hope, a nonfiction account of New Orleans schools post Hurricane-Katrina, which she reported with the support of a Spencer Education Journalism Fellowship at Columbia University. Carr has contributed to the New York Times, the Daily Beast, Time, the Miami Herald, the New Orleans Times-Picayune, New Orleans public radio and numerous other media outlets. She has won several national awards, including from the Education Writers Association for her work at Hechinger. Carr is a graduate of Williams College and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

The painful backlash against ‘no-excuses’ school discipline

NEW ORLEANS — From the moment Summer Duskin arrived at Carver Collegiate Academy in New Orleans last fall, she struggled to keep track of all the rules. There were rules governing how she talked. She had to say thank you constantly, including when she was given the “opportunity”—as the school handbook put it—to answer questions […]

Common Core math standards add up to big money for education companies

The politically controversial standards known as the Common Core have been in the headlines for months, in Louisiana and across the country. But for most teachers and educators the standards have been quietly transforming classroom instruction for years. And for textbook publishers and other vendors, the new standards add up to new business. Sarah Carr […]

In New Orleans, a case study in how school, health care decentralization affect neediest children

NEW ORLEANS —One New Orleans 15-year-old with explosive disorder felt abandoned after the only therapist she trusted left town. A 14-year-old diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, who became suicidal and threatened others, had to travel 300 miles to get admitted to a hospital. A 6-year-old with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder was told he couldn’t come […]

What will New Orleans’ move to an all-charter school district mean for the city’s schoolchildren?

This fall, New Orleans’ state-run Recovery School District will become the nation’s first big-city school system comprised entirely of charter schools. (A few non-charter schools will continue to operate outside of the jurisdiction of the Recovery School District.) New Orleans This story is part of our ongoing look at New Orleans and how its schools […]

In their own words

As part of a collaboration with Bard’s Early College program in New Orleans, The Hechinger Report has been asking teenagers to share their opinions on everything from discipline in the schools to the value of a four-year college degree. The students often came down on very different sides of the issues. Sixteen-year-old Brianisha Frith, for […]

Accountability comes to the nursery

Across the country, states are starting to rate early childhood programs. But Louisiana is taking that movement a step further, requiring all publicly funded programs to “test” their youngest learners, so to speak. Sarah Carr reports from New Orleans on this complicated new effort. The three-year-olds at Kids of Excellence childcare center learn largely through […]

As study abroad becomes more crucial, few low-income students go

TOKYO — When Ricardo Parras flew across the Pacific to study in Japan, the turbulence he encountered was of the emotional variety. Having grown up in predominantly Hispanic Los Banos, Calif., Parras missed being surrounded by Spanish-speakers from his own culture. He also missed his relatives, some of whom could not understand why he chose […]

Why are black students being paddled more in the public schools?

LEXINGTON, MISS. — Students in this central Mississippi town quickly learn that even minor transgressions can bring down the weight of the paddle. Seventh grader Steven Burns recounts getting smacked with it for wearing the wrong color shirt; Jacoby Blue, 12, for failing to finish her homework on time; and Curtis Hill, 16, for defiantly […]

Common Core has students writing — on just about every subject

In the early elementary school grades, Zachary Davis and his classmates at Belle Chasse Primary School in suburban New Orleans wrote almost entirely from personal experience: describing their ideal vacation, trying to convince readers that a longer school year would be a good (or bad) idea, penning a letter about their adventures during summer break.

Out of the mouths of babes and trumpeters: Documentary triumphs in its child-centered perspective

NEW ORLEANS – Many of my favorite moments in ‘The Whole Gritty City,’ a new documentary about the power of school marching bands in New Orleans, feature everyday glimpses of the city’s kids just being, well, kids: There’s the look of embarrassment and pride on an 11-year-old trumpeter’s face when his family calls out to […]

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