New Orleans area public schools have seen dramatic changes sincce hurricane Katrina, spurred on by an influx of teachers, a charter school district, a Recovery School District, and an emphasis on improving the quality of education.
Before Katrina, the graduation rate was less than 50 percent. Now it’s more than 75 percent. In some schools test scores are up 33 percent.
Derrick Tabb, the Rebirth Brass Band drummer, is generating buzz for his “Roots of Music” mentoring program, which brings instruments, tutoring, and music education to New Orleans area kids, some still traumatized by the effects of Hurricane Katrina.
Derrick is in the top ten nominated for the annual CNN Heroes Award. He faces some tough competition ranging from a Miami nurse/breast cancer survivor who operates a mobile mammography van providing free screenings to a Filipino teenager fighting to give his peers alternatives to gangs through education.
A total of 28 nominees from around the world are in the running, championing community causes, homelessness, health, and the environment, and more. Cast your vote for Katrina survivor Derrick Tabb here: