Can a nonprofit turn around education in New Orleans' juvenile detention facility?
A decade ago, the Youth Study Center -- New Orleans’ troubled juvenile detention facility -- would have been unlikely to attract an educational trailblazer.
The roughly 40 teenagers held in the flood-damaged center rarely made it to classes because they were often on lockdown 23 hours a day. The staff had a reputation for incompetence. The building was plagued with bugs and mold.
But this summer, the Orleans Parish School Board turned over operation of the school to the national nonprofit Center for Educational Excellence in Alternative Settings, which is known for its work tackling the academic deficits faced by juvenile delinquents.