Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Curriculum & Instruction


Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Bedford, April

Second Advisor

Barnitz, John

Third Advisor

Casbergue, Renee

Fourth Advisor

Kieff, Judith


This study is a qualitative, autoethnographic study documenting the process of writing and submitting a charter school application in Post-Katrina New Orleans. The focus of the study is my professional journey to this point, and the journey the charter team. The school's mission and curriculum is unique and centered on special needs students who are "at-risk" for learning due to language and learning differences. Particular aspects of curriculum and instruction, climate and culture, professional development, student achievement goals, administration, and operational issues were developed by this team. The aim of the study is for this investigation to contribute to the body of knowledge about educating "at-risk" learners and designing innovative schools. The focus of the study is on the epistemological, methodological, and political insights encountered. The primary question for this investigation is: What are the components of a successful charter school for "at-risk" students? Secondary questions include: How do we determine who is "at-risk"? How do we balance state demands with best practice teaching for these "at-risk" students? Where does appropriate funding come from for such a project? Hopefully this narrow based study will lead to specific program improvement and evolvement.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.