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Sunday, April 20, 2014

The open line: Perils of deregulation and religious roots of a new charter school leader

Posted By on Sun, Apr 20, 2014 at 4:23 PM

The line is open on a glorious Easter Sunday. Some more recommended reading:

* A LESSON FOR ARKANSAS: The rising Republican majority in Arkansas draws its talking points straight from the national playbook. Get government out of the way of business. Excessive regulation, particularly in environmental matters, is bad for business. Exploitation of minerals is good for everybody with scant downside. Republicans are riding this playbook — and big money from the Kochs and the coal industry — to a political turnaround in historically Democratic West Virginia. Perhaps you've heard of the coal industry chemical that has polluted the water supply for a big part of that state's population? You should read more about the political background and unanswered health questions still hanging in this fine report from the New Yorker. When the article talks about the coal caucus, think of the Arkansas frackers'  caucus and Jason Rapert, Tom Cotton and Tim Griffin, to name a few of the extraction industry's big boosters in Republican ranks. Same talking points. Same bullying tactics.

* CHARTER SCHOOL BACKGROUND: Given the bit of controversy about the religious roots of the Responsive Education Solutions charter school management group and its teaching of creationism in school classrooms, it's worth at least a mention of the news that the leader of the Responsive Ed-run Quest charter school planned to cream middle class kids, mostly white, from the Little Rock School District in western Little Rock, has long been a middle school headmaster of the Providence Christian School in Dallas. The naming of Chris Stevens was announced on the school's Facebook page. The page says the school has 180 enrolled with a waiting list started for grade six. Here's a bit about the religion-rooted school where the new leader, Stevens, has been working. Responsive Ed runs or helps run seven charter schools in Arkansas.

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