Charter express | Arkansas Blog

Monday, January 14, 2008

Charter express

Posted By on Mon, Jan 14, 2008 at 5:36 PM

Blake Rutherford's blog has an item about the recruiting pitch for the new Walton-Hussman Memorial Charter School that will open next year at Third and Louisiana. If all goes as planned, ousted School Supt. Roy Brooks will scoop top hands from the Little Rock School District and skim the cream of students to eventually pack 800 kids into a building without sufficient space for that number. Will it be good for the school district? No. But it also might not be so good for some top-end local private schools, who might also lose top students to the promise of advanced course offerings and free tuition.

Prediction: The Mandarin Chinese, advanced math, economics, etc., aren't likely to draw a high number of recruits among the deeply challenged children from broken, dysfunctional and impoverished homes that make up a disproportionate share of the school district's population and present a daily challenge to classroom teachers.

Given the administrative staff already assembled -- four top administrators from LRSD at comparable pay -- Rutherford guesses more than state funding will be needed to support the school. Of course. As we reported last week in The Insider, a separate private foundation, stocked with money from the Waltons, no doubt, will provide whatever supplements necessary to make sure this school succeeds.

Hey, somebody tell Roy Brooks this is a public school, though you wouldn't think so given his refusal to talk about this project from the outset. Tell him, too, that his records are open to inspection. It's customary for school superintendents to take questions from the press. But, come to think of it, he's bringing over Joe Mittiga to do that for him, as he did in LRSD.

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