The smell ripens. In the midst of heated criticism of the state Education Department for hurrying up and waiving rules to allow an expansion request from the academically deficient Little Rock Preparatory Academy, Board member Diane Zook dropped a small bombshell: It has pulled back its expansion request.
The New York Times was delivered the scoop by the Walton family on their latest addition to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (and Bentonville) — a new contemporary art space in a former Kraft cheese factory on E Street downtown.
Greg Penner's expected rise to Walmart leadership was formalized this morning with the board's election of Penner to succeed his father-in-law, Rob Walton, as chair of the retailer's board. The annual stockholder meeting is underway in Fayetteville with the usual lineup of celebrity entertainment.
Jim Ross, a former Little Rock School Board member active in the fight just told me that Rep. Bruce Cozart had pulled House Bill 1733 to allow privatization of, among others, the Little Rock School District.
The arrival of the Boston Consulting Group, thanks to Walton Family Foundation backing, in the Little Rock School District encourages a look at the group's work in education elsewhere in the U.S. Privatization of schools often follows.
The Walton Family Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation, with a consulting group known for recommending school privatization, are already arranging meetings in the former democratically governed Little Rock School District. They remain public schools — nominally — but information so far has been hard to come by about this new initiative.
The Walton-subsidized University of Arkansas has issued a news release today about a report from a Walton-financed arm of the UA intended to support the notion that more public tax money should go to charter schools, which the Walton heirs are spending hundreds of millions to promote in the United States. There's another way to look at some of this.
El Dorado had "signing day" Monday for some 300 El Dorado High graduates who'll be heading to college in the fall with scholarships thanks to the El Dorado Promise scholarship underwritten by Murphy Oil for all district graduates. A new study from the University of Arkansas confirms the positive impact the program has had on the district and students. I think it illustrates the antidote to school reformers' single-minded pursuit of charter schools and vouchers.
The New York Times takes a deep look at the Walton fortune's promotion of charter schools and school vouchers. The article was so deep, the Democrat-Gazette couldn't reprint it all. And there just wasn't room to mention all the Walton influence, some of debatable value, in the small state of Arkansas.
The state Board of Education meets Friday and the agenda includes a couple of issues that bear on nothing less than further erosion of Brown v. Board of education and the end of the public education system as we once knew it.
More big news for Bentonville today from 40/29. A new museum for families, the Amazeum, is to be built on J Street near the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art established by Walmart heir Alice Walton.
The Walton Family Foundation, which is spending tens of millions to promote charter schools, school vouchers and destruction of teacher unions and conventional public school districts that have them, is adding a high-profile New Yorker to its bureaucracy.
We've reported previously that Walton-financed researchers at the Walton-financed University of Arkansas believe they have proven by scientific research that Walmart-fortune-financed field trips to the Walton-financed Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville are valuable to students, even poor, minority type student
(9) (a) Files which, if disclosed, would give advantage to competitors or bidders; and (b)(i) records maintained by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission related to any business entity’s planning, site location, expansion, operations, or product development/marketing, unless approval for release of such records is granted by the business entity; (ii) provided, however, this exemption shall not be applicable to any records of expenditures or grants made or administered by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and otherwise disclosable under the provisions of this chapter;
The Walton family effort to redesign publicly financed schools in their image — they prefer essentially privatized operations unanswerable to elected school boards and stripped of teacher association representation, preferably with "out-counseling" of difficult students to the remnant real public schools — is familiar by now in Arkansas.
How best to improve schools? The Billionaire Boys Club way, by tearing down real public schools and creating dozens or even hundreds of individual school districts in the form of charter schools, virtual schools and private schools powered by public vouchers?