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.
With a healthy number of unhappy school district residents on hand, Little Rock School Superintendent Michael Poore announced today his plans for closure of school facilities said to be required to balance the budget as state desegregation aid ends and enrollment drops with movement of students to charter and other schools. /more/
Little Rock School Superintendent Michael Poore has announced he will "share plans" this afternoon to discuss facilities and budget — meaning which schools he'll recommend for closing and where the budget will be cut. Advocates for voter control of the school district aren't happy. /more/
Little Rock residents have petitioned for a public meeting with the Little Rock School District "School Board," which under current law means the state educational commissioner. There are many questions on which his answers might be interesting. /more/
When the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and a Walton Foundation-paid lobbyist, long devoted critics of the Little Rock School District, lead the messaging for a quarter-billion dollars in new tax debt for the district, it is cause for caution. /more/
Little Rock School District supporters met with the governor today in hopes of getting a commitment for return of local control and to prevent school closures. Count me a skeptic, particularly about a movement to support a school tax. Will it just end up benefitting charter schools? /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
Tens of thousands of Arkansans have been kicked off of Medicaid for failure to respond to an income verification letter. Many of them are eligible for the program according to the very data that triggered the letter in the first place.
The Arkansas Supreme Court today rejected a challenge to Justice Rhonda Wood's participation in a nursing home lawsuit because of significant contributions to her judicial campaign by the owner of the nursing home.
State Rep. Andy Mayberry's attempt to stop abortion at 12 weeks pregnancy by describing the most common and, according to the medical profession, the safest procedure as "dismemberment" of an "unborn child" passed in the House Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee.