Monday, January 28, 2013

Group formed to answer billionaires' school push

Posted By on Mon, Jan 28, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Well, how about this? As you know, the Billionaire Boys Club has a couple of dog-and-pony shows scheduled tomorrow in Little Rock at which Jeb Bush, Jim Walton, Walter Hussman, Bill Dillard and Claiborne (Murphy Oil) Deming will sing the praises of school reform — by their lights. Kill unions. Kill conventional public schools. End careful state oversight of charter schools. Pass out public dollars for home school, virtual schools and anything that isn't a regular public school. And, whatever you do, don't allow elected public officials have any say over any of it.

Well. A group has formed to speak out in opposition to their radical agenda, though I think the heirs' money has already talked loudly in election of the current Republican legislature. News release:

A press conference to promote the advancement of public education for ALL students, rather than radical reforms that will seriously undermine traditional public schools. A group of parents, teachers, administrators, advocates, legislators, and others will discuss Arkansas’ recent progress in improving educational opportunities for all students and the threat posed by recently filed bills such as HB1040, SB104, and SB117.

Many are concerned that the recent push by some members of the business community for a shift toward an unaccountable charter school driven education system is a potentially expensive distraction that threatens to undermine the principles of equity and adequacy that have guided the state’s progress in education over the past decade. Now is not the time to abandon those principles by opening the floodgates for unaccountable and unregulated experiments by removing the oversight of charter schools from the State Board of Education.

WHO: Parents, teachers, administrators, advocates, legislators, and representatives from several organizations including the Arkansas Opportunity to Learn Campaign, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, Rural Community Alliance, Arkansas Education Association, Arkansas Rural Education Association, Arkansas School Boards Association, Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators, Arkansas Public Policy Panel, and others.

WHEN: 1:00-1:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WHERE: Old Supreme Court Room, State Capitol Building

And, hey, speaking of Jeb Bush. I mentioned the other day some good Florida research on the poor showing of charter schools in Bush's home state. Here's some more reading on the Jeb Bush Florida miracle you won't hear at the Billionaires' revival show, sent along by another Bush doubter.

* A Harvard school paper "The Effects of Early Grade Retention on Student Outcomes over Time: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from Florida," found that, "Regression discontinuity estimates indicate large short-term gains in achievement among retained students and a sharp reduction in the probability of retention in subsequent years. The achievement gains from retention fade out gradually over time...and are statistically insignificant after six years."

* A National Education Policy Center report It found that in Florida, "NAEP performance of grade 4 students was artificially inflated due to the screening out and elimination of the weakest readers by the state's retention policy mandate, particularly Hispanic and Black students, and the presence of smaller numbers of older retained 4th-grade students."

* Palm Beach Post article from November:

Florida has one of the lowest graduation rates in the country, according to preliminary data released this week by the federal government.

* Orlando Sentinel article that evaluates Bush's touting of letter grades for schools. Not pretty.

* And more general summaries from Reuters and also from the National Education Policy Center (again) on Bush "overselling" his school reform. In short. Bush is great at lining up corporate clout. Together, they can create a formidable PR machine (right, Mr. Gordy? Ms. Lee?) The facts just happen to be inconvenient.

Tags: , , ,


Speaking of...

Comments (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The arrival of autumn open line

    Here's the open line. Harvest Fest still happening in Hillcrest. Hog Roast tomorrow in North Little Rock in perfect weather.
    • Oct 22, 2016
  • Nasty women rise up against The Deplorable Donald

    It had to happen. Donald Trump's debate interjection that Hillary Clinton was a "nasty woman" has become a battle cry among women; a Twitter meme; a Facebook favorite, and, naturally, a marketing opportunity for T-shirt, button and bumper sticker makers.
    • Oct 22, 2016
  • Formal opposition emerges to Issue 3, the corporate welfare amendment

    It became apparent this morning that at least some money would be spent in opposition to Issue 3, a massive corporate welfare proposal to allow the state to pledge unlimited tax money to private projects and to allow local governments to also give money to private business and chamber of commerce lobbyists, a practice that has been ruled unconstitutional currently.
    • Oct 22, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Rep. Nate Bell blasts adoption story before seeing it; 'rehoming' bill introduced

    Response to our story about rehoming and adoption has been overwhelmingly positive, with one exception. Rep. Nate Bell (R-Mena) has informed me that writing this story makes me the predator and Justin Harris the victim. I'm hellbound, apparently.
    • Mar 4, 2015
  • War. What is it good for? Tom Cotton has an idea

    Twenty-four hours after meddling in President Obama's talks with Iran, hawkish Sen. Tom Cotton scheduled an off-the-record meeting with defense contractors, who'd be happy to supply goods for U.S. armed incursions in the Middle East.
    • Mar 9, 2015
  • Mary Steenburgen adds voice against gay discrimination law

    Mary Steenburgen, the Arkansas native actress, has added her voice to those opposing HB 1228, the bill aimed at preserving legal discrimination against gay people under the pretext of religious freedom. It would create untold other complications for all sorts of government activities to give people a religious excuse to avoid the law.
    • Mar 3, 2015

Most Shared

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: The arrival of autumn open line

    • Somewhere in Arkansas, there is a Democrat who can defeat Rutledge. They just have to…

    • on October 23, 2016
  • Re: The Boeckmann Goes to Jail Edition

    • For readers of, which was a recent target of a massive attack, the DDoS…

    • on October 23, 2016
  • Re: Hillary Clinton comes to Little Rock today

    • Her step son was there! Danney Williams (Bill Clinton's unacknowledged son) -

    • on October 23, 2016



© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation