Always with the charter schools -- always | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Always with the charter schools -- always

Posted By on Tue, Sep 12, 2006 at 1:44 PM

Hendrix College today announced receiving a $20,000 state grant to support a charter school leadership training program. This effort was kicked off by a $20,000 grant to Hendrix from, who else, the country's biggest advocate of charter schools, the Walton Family Foundation. News release on the jump.

Now if somebody would just underwrite an independent program to assess charter schools, as opposed to a University of Walton-Fayetteville department that owes its existence to the same pocketbook.

CONWAY, Ark.Hendrix College has received a $20,000 grant from the Arkansas Department of Education Charter School Office to create the Hendrix College Charter School Leadership Institute to cultivate the leadership needed to promote educational excellence and expand the charter school movement in Arkansas.

James Jennings, chair of the Hendrix Education Department, will direct the institute that is designed for Arkansans who currently hold charter school leadership positions or who are interested in becoming a charter school leader.

The institute will offer a series of seven monthly educational sessions on the Hendrix campus on Saturday mornings for charter school leaders. The first session on school climate will be on Oct. 7 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Mills Center. Other sessions will be on instructional strategies and student achievement, Nov. 4; leadership/management strategies, Dec. 2; curriculum alignment, Jan. 13; internal/external communications, Feb. 3; regulatory issues, March 3; and start-up logistics, April 14.

There is no charge for registration, which is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration is available online at An institute certificate will be given to participants who complete all of the content area sessions. An online forum will be provided for ongoing networking and sharing. For more information, contact Jennings at 501/450-1283 or email, or contact Mary Ann D. Brown at 501/683-5313 or e-mail

“One of the greatest needs related to increasing the charter school capacity in Arkansas involves the identification and training of charter school principals,” said Jennings, who has a doctorate in educational leadership from Vanderbilt University. The out-migration, or population decline, in high-poverty and rural areas diminishes the pool of high quality, well-trained school leaders, especially those with the additional entrepreneurial skills needed to serve as a successful charter school administrator.” 

The institute will provide programming that includes a combination of short lectures, discussions, guest speakers, hands-on experiences, and other projects to help leaders meet several objectives.


In November 2005, Hendrix announced a proposal to establish a new pre-kindergarten through eighth grade charter school and professional development center. Last January, the college received a $20,000 charter school planning grant from The Walton Family Foundation, Inc., to fund the planning process.



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