Cry the beloved Little Rock School District. Watch and weep at a 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, but that's not good enough.
Meanwhile, if you had a very tall ladder, you could look from Carver a few blocks to the west to the site of a new Walton Family Foundation-backed campus of the eStem charter school, which will leach hundreds more students from the Little Rock School District. If past practice at eStem continues (and despite the claim that a lottery system guarantees a fair admission practice) the student body will be much whiter and much higher income than the Little Rock School District. In the past, eStem test scores haven't always reflected the edge they enjoy from income demographics and motivated parents.
In theory, the final closure decisions have not been made. In practice, parents are being urged to plan on a different school next year. No matter what Superintendent Michael Poore says, the final call goes to Education Commissioner Johnny Key. That means, the final call goes to, effectively, the Walton network, which installed Key after using him for years to explode charter school and corporation-enriching home school populations in Arkansas. The ultimate takeover of the Little Rock District by private operators seems not a question any more of if, but when. Look for legislature to speed that day in 2017.
The Christian Ministerial Alliance has announced it will give the Rev. Williams Robinson Justice Award today to five members of the Little Rock Schoo Board removed by the state Board of Education Jan. 28, 2015. /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/
The Walton Family Foundation is looking for its first general counsel. It is perhaps only coincidental that the federal Education Department is now headed by a woman who has much the same outlook on schools as the foundation does. /more/
The roadblock to Speaker Jeremy Gillam's bill to reopen the door for to free foreign travel for legislators happened to arise as I read of one solid investment of foreign money in state legislative travel. /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/
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 plan, formulated months ago, was this: Ellen and I were going to go to Washington for inauguration festivities, then fly out the morning after the balls for Panama City and a long planned cruise to begin with a Panama Canal passage.
Not since the John Birch Society's "Impeach Earl Warren" billboards littered Southern roadsides after the Supreme Court's school-integration decision in 1954 has the American judicial system been under such siege, but who would have thought the trifling Arkansas legislature would lead the charge?
The Senate this morning added an amendment to Rep. Charlie Collins campus carry bill that incorporates the effort denied in committee yesterday to require a 16-hour additional training period before university staff members with concealed carry permits may take the weapons on campus.
Sen. Trent Garner, the Tom Cotton employee and clone who joined the Arkansas Senate this year, has proposed an amendment to the campus carry bill that would open campuses to anyone 25 or older with a concealed carry permit if they received an additional 16 hours of training.