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Monday, May 18, 2015

Monday, May 18, 2015 - 17:22:00

Kurrus launches 'Straight Talk' column

New Little Rock Superintendent Baker Kurrus has launched a weekly online column called "Straight Talk." In the first edition, Kurrus can't sleep. His mind is racing too much. The LRSD has "organizational weaknesses," he writes. That can improve, he says, with better management, more communication and more authority bestowed down the organizational latter. Many schools don't have a positive working atmosphere. He wants to focus on school culture and climate.

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Monday, May 18, 2015 - 15:16:00

Dr. Sniffingwell's alma mater gets a takedown in the New York Times

The famous Arkansas bulldog Dr. Maxwell Sniffingwell probably needs to update his resume to include yesterday's New York Times story on Axact, the Pakistan-based parent company of his alma mater, Belford University, which turns out to be one of hundreds of smoke-and-mirrors universities and high schools owned by Axact. Revenues by the company are estimated at several million dollars per month.

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Monday, May 18, 2015 - 09:03:00

Common Core takes flight

From KAIT: “The Common Core has really been talking about mixed methods of teaching,” one student said. “Quail could be used as a way to talk to them about math and science and the incubation and things like that and how to integrate that into the classroom.”

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 - 14:23:00

Council on Common Core standards hearing from testing companies today

More hearings today on Common Core, the controversial set of education standards that Arkansas (like most states) has adopted. Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin chairs the Governor's Council on Common Core Review, which is composed of parents, educators, students and others from around the state.

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Monday, May 4, 2015

Monday, May 4, 2015 - 19:36:00

UPDATE: State Board of Education to hold special meeting concerning LRSD waiver

Something's up. The State Board of Education has announced a special meeting at 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 5. The lone agenda item concerns a request for a waiver of state law regarding the Little Rock School District.

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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 14:20:00

Recognition for stars among Hall High's ESL students

In this week's Arkansas Times, we profile our 21st class of Academic All-Stars — 20 Arkansas high school seniors with undeniably remarkable scholastic achievements. Let's add a note of recognition for another group of other scholars who've accomplished impressive things: Students in the English as a Second Language program at Hall High.

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Monday, April 27, 2015 - 06:37:00

Hughes School District challenges state consolidation order

The Hughes School District has announced a lawsuit in St. Francis circuit court to challenge the state Board of Education's decision to consolidate it with West Memphis.

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday, April 24, 2015 - 07:20:00

Hutchinson wants 'Arkansas solution' on Common Core. It's all theater

The round of hearings on the Common Core curriculum being led by Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin — soon to be a key presidential campaign adviser to avowed Common Core foe Mike Huckabee — are nothing but theater and a delaying tactic worthy of the Arkansas Supreme Court.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - 16:24:00

More legal headaches for Dexter Suggs

Dexter Suggs may have cleared out his office before the workday began today, but he still has lingering legal matters as defendant in lawsuits against him and the state.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Thursday, April 16, 2015 - 10:07:00

And you thought the Pulaski desegregation lawsuit was over

Federal Judge Price Marshall is to hold a hearing at 10 a.m. Friday, requested by civil rights lawyer John Walker, about progress in bringing the Pulaski County Special School District to "unitary," or fully desegregated, status.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015 - 06:46:00

State Education Department shows its bias; and 'report card' shows its flaws

An article in today's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette illustrated again the bias in the state Education Department toward charter schools (and against the Little Rock School District.) It raises the question of whether Dexter Suggs, as the education commissioner's chosen gofer, will continue to survive ineptitude and, now, an allegation of plagiarism.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 - 19:27:00

Blue Hog finds similarities between Dexter Suggs' doctoral work and somebody else's

Blue Hog Report has mined another interesting report out of public record. He's found a copy of the doctoral dissertation of Dexter Suggs, interim superintendent of the Little Rock School District, and compared it with another writer's work and found verbatim similarities.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 13:41:00

Series of meetings announced on Common Core

Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, named by Gov. Asa Hutchinson to lead a review of the Common Core school curriculum as a means of defusing a potential nasty legislative fight on the standards, has announced a series of public meetings on the subject.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 11:29:00

Poll data: Leave my school alone, but screw the rest of them

Surprise. Arkansans think education is going to hell, except, of course, in their own school district.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Wednesday, April 8, 2015 - 10:46:00

New anti-school consolidation law to get its first test Thursday

The state Board of Education is scheduled to consider Thursday the involuntary consolidation of the Hughes School District because its enrollment has fallen below 350 students. However, a new state law, adopted with emergency clause, exempts schools otherwise meeting standards from consolidation when they fall below 350 students.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Wednesday, April 1, 2015 - 07:47:00

Foundation says Arkansas must do more to help talented low-income students

A report from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation gives Arkansas low-to-middling marks in its support of students with unusual academic potential, particularly those from lower-income households.

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Saturday, March 28, 2015 - 14:23:02

UPDATE: Education committee passes bill to tamper with American history curriculum

The Senate Education committee passed a bill today by Sen. Linda Collins-Smith (R-Pocahontas) that would require non-AP high school and junior high U.S. social studies classes to teach at least four weeks of history concerning "the period of colonization through 1890," regardless of what the rest of the class is about. Proponents of the bill said that its passage would help ensure "freedom."

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday, March 27, 2015 - 06:00:00

Should Arkansas students be required to take a citizenship test? Should legislators?

On Thursday, the House Education Committee narrowly failed to pass SB 878, a bill by Sen. Jason Rapert that would require high school students to pass a citizenship test from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services as a prerequisite to receiving a diploma.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 14:27:00

Johnny Key confirmed by State Board as new Education Commissioner

The State Board of Education unanimously voted on Wednesday to approve former Republican state senator Johnny Key as the new head of the Arkansas Department of Education.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 09:27:00

Hillary and the Democratic dilemma on education policy

The New York Times highlights a schism in the Democratic Party over public education that bears watching, given the state takeover of the Little Rock School District and the temporarily dormant campaign for wholesale privatization of distressed Arkansas schools.

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