The Bentonville Public Schools United Facebook page provides the video of members of the school board paying tribute to Superintendent Michael Poore after accepting his resignation to take the job of superintendent of the Little Rock School District. Poore didn't respond. He'd explained, whatever he explained, during a closed session withe the board.
School Board member Joe Quinn, a Walmart executive who once worked in Little Rock as a Huckabee administration official, posted this on Twitter after the announcement:
Mike Poore is a unique and talented leader taking Little Rock job to do the right thing for all students.
That could be true and still not be an adequate response to the firing of a proven leader with granular knowledge of the district, Baker Kurrus, solely because he wouldn't toe the party line on charter schools. Coming from Bentonville, seat of the Walton fortune that is now controlling education policy in Arkansas, it is hard not to presume that Poore brings that influence in his DNA. Kurrus offered facts on the charter school debate. The other side works on faith.
PS — State Education Board member Diane Zook's dishonest suggestion to the Democrat-Gazette that Kurrus made the decision to leave is yet one more black mark on her service. She'd belittled Kurrus in his appearance before the state board on charter school impact. She probably opened the door to the events that led to Kurrus' sacking. Because the state Education Department charter school review group was asked to produce some information on charter school impact and performance (facts they have never been interested in amassing) she cobbled up a list of questions for Kurrus intended to make the Little Rock School District look bad. That opened the door to his presentation of a mass of information unhelpful to her pro-charter school position. I suspect that played a role in Education Commissioner Johnny Key's decision to boot him.
Sad day. Bentonville now runs Little Rock schools. Wonder what the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce thinks about that.
Cry the beloved Little Rock School District. Watch and weep at video made by students at Carver Elementary in the East End, almost certainly to be closed by the state of Arkansas as part of cost-cutting. The school succeeds with a diverse populace. That's not good enough. /more/
#StandUp4LR, the grassroots group organized to regain local control of the Little Rock School District, now run by the state has issued a statement today critical of Superintendent Michael Poore's budget process for next year, particularly insufficient community input. It also recommends a moratorium on new charter school seats in Little Rock because of the damaging impact that has on the School District. /more/
Committee meetings begin today in the Little Rock School District on "facilities utilization." In other words, the district, which has no elected school board after a state takeover for academic deficiencies in a handful of schools, will be looking for schools to close to meet a $37 million budget cut in 2017-18. /more/
Michael Poore, superintendent of the state-controlled Little Rock School District, outlined for the state Board of Education today possible ways to cut another $15 million in district spending next year as the district prepares for loss of state desegregation support. /more/
We take a visit to the weekly hot check court in Sherwood District Court, the subject of a recent civil rights lawsuit filed by ACLU Arkansas and others, who say the system there results in a modern-day debtor's prison
Bob Scoggin, 50, the Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist whose job it was to review the work of agencies, including DAH and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, for possible impacts on historic properties, resigned from the agency on Monday. Multiple sources say Scoggin, whom they describe as an "exemplary" employee who the week before had completed an archeological project on DAH property, was told he would be fired if he did not resign.
Jones was "Minority Outreach Coordinator" for Hutchinson's 2014 gubernatorial campaign. The governor first named him as policy director before placing him over the labor department instead in Jan. 2015, soon after taking office.
A former inmate who claims she was sexually assaulted over 70 times by former McPherson Womens' Unit chaplain Kenneth Dewitt has filed a federal lawsuit against Dewitt, several staff members at the prison, and officials with the Arkansas Department of Corrections, including former director Ray Hobbs.
Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway) was on "Capitol View" on KARK, Channel 4, this morning, and among other things that will likely inspire you to yell at your computer screen, he said he expects someone in the legislature to file a bill to do ... something about changing the name of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.
Even if one accepts the dubious premise that "bad teachers" are a root cause of struggling schools (rather than a consequence of them), where will the "good teachers" come from to fill positions at schools in districts like Helena and high-poverty campuses in Little Rock?