Nagin said he sees "a direct correlation" between bringing good education to New Orleans and repopulating the city to pre-Katrina levels.
"We have good schools throughout the city, whereas prior to Katrina, our school system was not in very good shape," Nagin acknowledged. "If we can repopulate the city and have a core of 20, 40, maybe 50 high-quality schools throughout the city, I think the repopulation is going to be successful."
Nagin was speaking at an event put on by Hurricane Education Leadership Program (HELP) Aug. 1-2. The event featured 30 tech companies demonstrating the potential of their technologies for a 21st century education in New Orleans.
"Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, Katrina has done a lot of negative things, but she has also opened up a world of opportunity," Nagin continued. "As we sit here today, trying to figure out what we are going to do, you will be able to tell your children and grandchildren that you set the direction for the way New Orleans is going to be 30, 40, 50 years from now."