Rebirth: New Orleans


In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans officials transformed the city’s education system by increasing the number of charter schools as they rebuilt. This inspiring documentary traces the creative new model’s evolution through four schools.

Year: 2013
Certificate: G
Director: John Merrow

Information Page:

In September 2005 the unthinkable happened in New Orleans, America, hurricane Katrina ripped through the city and caused the levies to be breached. This all but wiped out the city, killing almost 2000 people and causing over $150 billion worth of damage. So why did the head of the school district say that all his prayers had been answered and that they were lucky that Katrina had hit?

Pre-Katrina the New Orleans school district was failing and failing badly; with reports of fraud, corruption and 8th graders unable to read. Could Katrina shutting down the school system for a few months be the answer to starting again and, if so, how?

“Rebirth: New Orleans” looks at how a natural and human disaster has helped to rebuild the school system of New Orleans, examining the results of what is being called the biggest educational experiment in the history of America. Filmed over 5 years educational journalist John Merrow investigates the successes, failures and controversies surrounding the choices that have been made for the new system, both for teachers and pupils. Featuring the stories of teachers, pupils, activists and critics “Rebirth:New Orleans” is an interesting look at the American school system and the greatest educational experiment of all time.

Will future generations from New Orleans have a better chance in life because of the choices which have been made? Will the educational gap widen? Only time will tell, but for now “Rebirth:New Orleans” is an interesting watch and, while you do, try to decide for yourself if the right decisions were made.

Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!



About Tammy

A parent blogger and mom to 3 adorable children, who likes watching documentaries and dramas.

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