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.
A letter from Little Rock school activist Dr. Anika Whitfield happens to underscore a point I made earlier today — and in a column to be published this week. It lays some of the school district's problems on benign neglect, and sometimes malice, of the Little Rock City Board. /more/
Little Rock School Superintendent Mike Poore told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette yesterday that he will propose to Education Commissioner Johnny Key a May 9 special election on a property tax vote. The political climate is not good. /more/
The Save Our Schools coalition has issued a statement criticizing Education Commissioner Johnny Key's expected approval of school closure decisions recommended by his Little Rock school superintendent, Michael Poore. /more/
Under the plan previously outline by the superintendent, the district will close Franklin Elementary and Wilson Elementary, along with Woodruff Early Childhood Center. Hamilton Learning Academy, an alternative school, will move to the Wilson building. /more/
The Arkansas Department of Education has recommended that two Little Rock School District high schools — J.A. Fair and McClellan — be removed from the list of campuses the state deems to be in academic distress. /more/
"Why do you guys not care about your community? You’re tearing it down, not building it up, especially in the black community … It’s just a simple question — do you care?" one mother asked the superintendent. "Ma’am, I do care deeply about this district, and I do believe wholeheartedly we are making a better district every day," Poore replied. /more/
The U.S. attorney's office announced today that Christian Trey Ashcraft, 41, of White Hall had entered a negotiated plea to Internet stalking and a charge of lying to a federal agent had been dropped. He'll be sentenced later. The maximum sentence is five years.
An op-ed in today's New York Time by Katha Pollitt says what I've been struggling to say about the reaction to the attack on women's reproductive rights launched by means of the undercover videos made by anti-abortion activists.
Donald Trump gave a remarkable interview to the New York Times yesterday in which he declared open season on the marriage of Bill and Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton's past infidelity. Seems like a loser, but I've been wrong before.
Arkansas Business reports here on a federal court filing Wednesday that shows a second person has pleaded guilty to a bribery scheme to help a major contractor of the state Department of Human Services.
Sheila Kennedy, a professor of architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and founder of Kennedy & Violich Architecture Ltd., will give the June Freeman lecture tonight at the Arkansas Arts Center, part of the Architecture + Design Network series at the Arkansas Arts Center.
The Walton College of Business is working to expand its executive education by opening an office in downtown Little Rock that would offer non-degree programs to the health, banking and finance and retail industries in Central Arkansas, the school confirmed today.
A former mental health agency director has won a default judgment worth $358,000 over a claim for unpaid retirement pay and Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson is apparently to blame for failure to respond to pleadings in the case.
The NRA, which calls most shots on gun bills in Arkansas, now opposes the campus carry bill primarily because it adds an additional training requirement before anyone 25 and older can take a concealed weapon on a public college campus.
A House committee today talked about stripping colleges and the Highway Department of power and tightening procedures on constitutional amendments but in the end voted as Chairman Bob Ballinger orchestrated and expected — to put a Voter ID amendment on the 2018 ballot.