LRSD can't become like Detroit 

LRSD can't become like Detroit

Below is a list gleaned from Little Rock School District Superintendent Baker Kurrus' comments in the state newspaper:

•There is a clamor for a middle school in West Little Rock.

•Continued exodus of students to private and charter schools will cause our public schools to become like Detroit.

•Kurrus enjoys eating lunch with school children unannounced.

•Schools can be sold, and the money invested back into the district.

•Keeping small neighborhood schools open is expensive.

If Kurrus builds a middle school in the west, he adds yet another burden for the poor. Recently, the state paper printed a list of Little Rock School District populations. It shows that white people value schools with around a 30 percent minority. Schools built in the west have that desired percentage.

Little Rock schools are unitary so there is no longer judicial oversight. The LRSD can build a school wherever it wants to build it. The problem with white majority schools in the west is that it turns our central and southwest sectors into Detroit. It is like having two children, one suffering appendicitis and the other with no problem. Instead of handling the appendicitis, the parent buys new shoes for the healthy child.

To avoid Detroit, we must create good schools for Little Rock's poor. Kurrus knows first-hand that poor children have significant needs. The best way to meet those needs is to build a school village. A village keeps children with each other and with professionals dedicated to their success for 13 years. Staying together helps children without a strong family life develop character. Good character produces both outstanding academic and social behavior. That fact alone (well-behaved students) makes the village attractive. It gives those children with whom Kurrus enjoys visiting a chance to succeed. Most importantly for Little Rock, a good educational environment breaks the poverty cycle.

This author has written much about school villages in the Arkansas Times and the state newspaper. He will gladly visit anybody wanting to discuss the concept. Sadly, an honest evaluation of the idea by the people who can make the vision a reality has not happened.

Everything is in place to build the first village. Kurrus understands that neighborhood schools are too expensive to maintain, and that they can be sold and the money reinvested in the first school village. After that success, others would follow. Does the phrase "It takes a village" ring a bell?

Richard Emmel

Little Rock

Cotton wrong on Keystone

I am sure you will have reported on the rejection of Keystone Pipeline XL so I wish to comment on that subject as it concerns the entire country.

Sen. Tom Cotton has claimed that this action would affect Arkansas families and workers.

Just to get the facts right:

• The Keystone XL construction would go from Canada to Nebraska.

• The only Keystone pipeline that would have come anywhere close to Arkansas has already been constructed.

• Phase 2, which runs through central Kansas, was completed in 2011. Phase 3a, running through central Oklahoma and eastern Texas, was done in 2014.

Cotton has dishonestly put forward another "fact" that is no fact at all.

Joanne Mell

San Diego, Calif.

New Times

In the early '80s, when I decided to become a property owner in Arkansas — thus laying the groundwork for becoming a full-time and permanent resident — I subscribed to the Arkansas Times magazine. It was a charming and informative publication that touted the benefits of the Natural State and pointed out and discussed issues important to both the preservation and growth of Arkansas. I really enjoyed it as I was learning about my adopted state.

Now it seems to have been transformed into a Democratic propaganda rag devoted solely to the promotion of liberal, left-wing views. You and the rest of your staff seem to be angry with your state, and it seems you think that the state and the nation should be made into a Democratic dictatorship, which bars any conservative views. This, of course, is your right.

If you truly believe, as Max Brantley wrote, that Barack Obama "more than lived up to the presidency" — what have you been smoking? I challenge you to name and describe one thing he has done that was of benefit to the country. Killing Bin Laden was not his accomplishment. As a point of fact, he came close to canceling the mission. Obama will go down in history as the worst U.S. president. Only Hillary has a chance to exceed his incompetence. I regret that the Arkansas Times is so devoted to the continued decline of the state and the nation.

Vance Gordon

Mount Ida

From the web

In response to last week's cover story, "In matters of life and death":

Killing people is a horrible throwback to the Dark Ages. It is unbecoming to a modern society, especially one that likes to think of itself as "Christian." It says Thou Shalt Not Kill. There is no addendum.


In response to last week's column by Gene Lyons, "Republicans 'reality' ":

So would you like to hear Anderson Cooper's first softball question to perennial press favorite Hillary Clinton during the recent CNN Democratic debate?

It was this: "Will you say anything to get elected?"

Oh, what Gene "Would I lie to you" Lyons failed to mention, was Anderson read about three of four flip flops of Clinton. I know, when libs do it, it is called evolve, and if Republicans do it, it is a flip flop.

So, there is a perception that Clinton does change her mind due to the winds of politics.

Clinton's political philosophy: Some of my friends are for it and some of my friends are against it, I stand with my friends.


There was no crying or whining from the GOP candidates, just a harsh defense against the media that won't even begin to tell the tale about the newest set of allegations showing the emails have been a concern. Even Bernie finally said, days too late, that there is a big trust issue with Hillary.

Sure, some of the journalists may dig up something on Carson and some medicine he hawked, but nobody wants to discuss Hillary crying poor, or Hillary fabricating this entire story of being shot at and coming in under sniper fire at Kosovo.

How many debates have mentioned that?

Soft ball? Thy aren't even throwing anything real at her. They are coddling their favorite female star.

Steven E

Runner, apparently we have different definitions for "gotcha." Where I come from "gotcha" means you've exposed or embarrassed or even disgraced someone. A "softball" question is one that is lobbed in. You can see it coming. A "gotcha" comes on high and inside. It's aimed at your head and it's not meant to brush you back. It's meant to put you on your ass. It's an attempt at intimidation. Hillary stayed in the box and answered the questions. She was not intimidated. The point of Mr. Lyons' column was to admonish the GOP candidates who complained about the type of questions they were being asked. They should be prepared for anything that's thrown at them. If they can't handle it, they don't belong in the big leagues. Hillary didn't complain.

Tony Galati

In response to Ernest Dumas' column from last week, "Deficits don't matter to Republicans":

So true! For Republican politicians, deficits do not matter when it comes to corporate subsidies, tax cuts for the already wealthy, and sending other people's kids off to fight a war. The same logic applies to big government when it protects a monopoly, restricts woman's health options, or a poor person's privacy.

Bow ties are back in style

In response to the Oct. 29 cover story "The apple and the tree" on the state child welfare system:

The more I read about Arkansas's so-called "child welfare system," the more nauseated I become.


In response to the Nov. 3 Arkansas Blog post, "State Rep. Mary Bentley threatens Game and Fish funding in encounter with wildlife officer":

Does the esteemed gentlewoman (R-Uterus) understand that Game & Fish is constitutionally independent?



Paying Top Dollar for Legislators

Those officers clearly were not aware of the fact that rules are for the other people, not Republican legislators and their family members.


Ted Bentley is a Tea Partyer. He ran for Sheriff last time in Perry County and he came out with all sorts of wild allegations about the current sheriff. Thankfully he was not elected. Made for some entertaining reading though in the local newspaper.

Patricia Hutchins

If proven true, Rep. Bentley needs to resign from office. I hope the feds have a video of her not so veiled threat. Some day I hope we hear that the Bentleys, sober this time for Mr. B., have apologized for their rank stupidly and arrogance in front of a judge. But that shouldn't be a "Get out of jail free" card if the mister is guilty of baiting on federal lands. You do the crime, you do the time.

Sound Policy

If Justin Harris didn't resign after giving his daughter to a child rapist, do you think Bentley will step down after threatening a state wildlife officer? These people think they're above the law.




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