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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Now that the chorus of politicians invoking religious liberty against the president and local governments includes nearly every Republican presidential candidate, it is time to ask whether those who espouse religious liberty the most loudly believe in it least.
Contrary to what Jeb Bush said, it wasn't actually too hard to see through the propaganda barrage that led the United States to invade Iraq in 2003. Key aspects of the Bush administration's case for war were transparently false, and would have been comically so if the consequences hadn't been so terrible.
Brooke Arnold, writing in Salon, provides a personal look at life according to the teachings of a religious organization that has been influential with the Duggar family. She argues it cultivates a culture where women are more vulnerable to rape and sexual abuse.
The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported over the weekend, though the Little Rock edition did not, that it had interviewed an unnamed church elder about Jim Bob and Josh Duggar's meeting with then-State Trooper Joseph Hutchens to report Josh Duggar's improper contact with girls in the Duggar household.
Pulaski Circuit Judge Mackie Pierce has refused requests by the cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock that he reconsider his ruling that annual payments to chambers of commerce were unconstitutional.