If you listen to national anti-reform activists you might assume that all education workers that came to rebuild public education in New Orleans were opportunistic carpet baggers seizing on a profitable opportunity. That is an unfortunate narrative that insults the hard work done by earnest people who came to New Orleans like many Americans, to help. Pete Cook is one of those people. He moved to New Orleans in 2002 (before the devastation of Katrina) to teach at John McDonough High School when it was deeply troubled. We talk to him about the educational triage work he did with other education workers after Katrina. Pete in addition to teaching in New Orleans before Katrina, he also worked for KIPP New Orleans, the Recovery School District, and Mass Insight.
Pete became involved in education reform in New Orleans Public Schools as a 2002 Teach For America corps member and has worked in various capacities at Teach For America, KIPP, TNTP, and the Recovery School District. He now works as a consultant helping districts transform their organizations to better serve the needs of low-income students. Twitter: @petercook