Education / Training
Preschool, Primary, Secondary, and Special Education School Teachers
Grade Levels: High School
Benefits available for some positions
<p>Benjamin Franklin High School was founded in 1957 as a school for the gifted children of New Orleans. The founders had a vision. Inspired by the launch of Sputnik and the space race, an American educational revolution was just beginning. Opened ahead of the National Defense Education Act that would put new focus on science and mathematics, Ben Franklin was a public school with the best educators teaching the brightest in the city. Admissions requirements with IQ testing were introduced and in New Orleans, Louisiana, it was a first. </p><p> Ben Franklin developed a legacy of firsts. In a 1960 case, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth District stated that Franklin was “one of the finest schools in the country for superior students” and as such, should be open to all of the students of New Orleans. In 1963, Franklin became the first desegregated public high school in the city. By 1965 Franklin’s spirit for excellence had taken root and the school saw 38 of the 96 seniors recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. </p><p>Our academic achievements grow with each graduating class and our vision has evolved. Ben Franklin High School continued preparing students for high academic achievement and success in life. <br></p><p>Advanced Placement Programs were added and education evolved to keep up with technology. By 1990 Franklin students were only limited by an inadequate facility. (The old Carrollton Courthouse, while a hub of great memories for the alumni, could barely hold the student body. A “cafetorium” served as cafeteria, auditorium, gym, band practice hall and meeting room. Portable classrooms from the 1950’s offered limited space and classrooms were used in neighboring churches. A lack of basic comforts, such as air conditioning, challenged an efficient learning environment.) With the Ben Franklin spirit and a hopeful vision, the school moved to the Leon C. Simon location in March 1990. <br></p><p>Hurricane Katrina proved the single greatest threat to the school in 2005. Flood damage, mud, and mildew growth left the school boarded up with no assurances for a future in a struggling city. But the Franklin vision could not be blinded. Franklin supporters, including administrators, faculty, parents, alumni and friends, led by Teacher Charles Firneno, did not wait for a federal go ahead or city permission. They went to work repairing the facility. Former Principal/CEO, Carol Christen and Board President, Duris Holmes ’80 spearheaded the effort to make Franklin a public charter school, raising over one million dollars in private funds. On January 17, 2006, Benjamin Franklin High School opened as a public charter, the first public high school to reopen after the storm.<br></p>
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