School watch -- UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Monday, March 5, 2007

School watch -- UPDATE

Posted By on Mon, Mar 5, 2007 at 11:19 AM

The bill to double the charter school count in Arkansas -- and to allow them all to be backed inton one location -- is headed for a house vote today. The Waltons have pulled out all the stops. Wal-Mart's lobbyist, the Walton-paid Luke Gordy and a team of at least three former legislators are all working the chamber for votes.  It passed the House Education Committee narrowly and then only because the committee is packed with Republicans. Some opposition is developing on the floor.

I think this bill is the Waltons' back-door effort to take over, first, the Pulaski County schools with a couple of dozen "charter" schools (and then any others where there are teachers in need of Walton punishment). There's no showing anywhere in the country that charter schools, as a whole, are any better than conventional public schools. I'd just suggest that the legislators who think this kind of thing can't happen to their school district better give it another think.

(This isn't about KIPP academies, with their extra funding, their longer hours, their committed teacher corps, their ability to root out uncommitted parents and students and special ed students. This is about a voucher program by another name, to schools with no track records, no accountability and many ways, from tracking to lack of transportation, to discourage or keep out "undesirable" types of students.)

UPDATE: This bill does more than up the number of charters. It also will effectively strip the state Board of Education of the power to vote up or down on charter applications. As it now stands, a need must be demonstrated. No uniqueness need be proven under this legislation. And applicants also need not have achieved 501c3 nonprofit status when they apply.

This bill makes it easy for any unproven would-be charter operator with some soap to sell to take public money to open up a school, whether a need is demonstrated in a community or not and whether the operator has any track record at education. This is what the Waltons would have you believe is greater accountability. Do you think they run the retail store this way?

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • An open line for Sunday

    An open line.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • City plans more spending on 30 Crossing

    The Little Rock City Board meets Tuesday to set an agenda for the following week and among the "consent" items is a new $175,000 with Nelson/Nygaard consultants to "assist with a comprehensive review" of the 30 Crossing project, otherwise known as the bigger concrete ditch the Department of Transportation wants to tear through the heart of Little Rock.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • NFL owners rise to defense of players against Trump and false patriots

    Many football team owners have risen to the defense of players against Donald Trump criticism as yet another racially fraught issue seems likely to gain increasing heat thanks to Trump's rhetoric.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Judge anticipates punishment of lawyers in Fort Smith class action case

    Federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith issued a 32-page ruling yesterday indicating he contemplates punishment of 16 lawyers who moved a class action lawsuit against an insurance company out of his court to a state court in Polk County after a settlement had been worked out.
    • Apr 15, 2016
  • The two cities of Little Rock: East/west, black/white

    The Little Rock City Board illustrated this week a community divided over public schools, another blow to the Little Rock School District and another illustration of the need for ward elections to the board.
    • Mar 23, 2017
  • IHOP coming down, but .....

    I always scan the Little Rock City Board for items of interest this week and this one caught my eye: A zoning measure required by a proposal to tear down the IHOP at Markham and University.
    • Apr 30, 2016

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation