Our Views: New Orleans, eight years out

This month brings the eighth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a disaster that reminded south Louisiana residents of New Orleans’ critical role in the health of the regional economy. That’s why the city’s recovery has been so important to the future of the state, and why a new report gauging New Orleans’ post-Katrina progress is worth attention.

The report released this week by the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center offers some good news and bad news about the city’s economic condition nearly a decade after Katrina, noting strong gains in high-paying construction and other high-skill jobs, but pointing out persistently high unemployment among African-American men.

Although there no single magic bullet for addressing that gap, one underlying reality remains clear: Without access to quality public education, too many New Orleans residents will continue failing to meet their full promise. This new report should add urgency to the cause of improving public education in the city, which has become an incubator of such reforms since Katrina.

The full report is available at http://www.gnocdc.org. We urge residents to take a look.