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Blackboard Wars

Blackboard Wars

  • Premiered: 
    February 16, 2013
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: OWN
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Reality
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: School
  • Tags:

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(That We Know Of)
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Plot Synopsis

BLACKBOARD WARS is a reality series that follows education maverick Steve Barr and no-nonsense principal Marvin Thompson, as they transform John McDonogh High School, a charter school in the Treme area of New Orleans, recently taken over by The Future Is Now schools group. John McDonogh High School has had a difficult recent 10 years: a gymnasium shooting in April 2003, in a year that the high school suspended over 40% of its students; Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, which caused many students to live alone -- and act out at school -- while parents moved away to earn a salary; the state-controlled Recovery School District (RSD) takeover of failing schools in 2006, including John McDonogh High School, which forced teachers to lose their jobs; and the inability of the RSD to improve attendance, performance or graduation rate -- in the 2006-2007 academic year, more than 140 students left school for "unknown" reasons and the school remained the RSD's second-lowest performing high school. Six years after RSD took over the school, Future Is Now started operating John McDonogh High School in the 2012-13 school year, with a goal to hire outstanding teachers from around the country and to provide unique opportunities for its students, including a four-year culinary and hospitality management high school, which will operate within John McDonogh High School. The culinary program has received a $35 million commitment to build a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen and prep rooms, while incorporating the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation's ProStart program. Originally scheduled to premiere on Saturday, March 2, 2013, the premiere of BLACKBOARD WARS was moved two weeks earlier -- announced just days before its new debut date -- so that the series had Oprah's interview with Beyonce as a lead-in.

Other Titles

  • Previously known as Treme High

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by The Studio, aka Discovery Studios (as Discovery Studios)


  • John McDonogh High School - New Orleans, Louisiana USA - Map It!