A plan for LR schools | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A plan for LR schools

Posted By on Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 1:13 PM

I've posted my column this week. It elaborates on a recent topic here -- a growing belief among Little Rock School Board members and others that Superintendent Linda Watson has not yet demonstrated that she's moving the district in the right direction. (That direction would be, very simply, cutting administrative costs and instituting effective steps to close the student achievement gap.)

It's an important week. The School Board meets Thursday. One item on the agenda is the Board's annual evaluation of Watson, as my column notes.

But the item of greater importance may be a proposal from the district's strategic planning committee to hire a top education consulting firm, Picus and Associates, to develop a strategic plan for the district. It's now in the hands of School Board members for review.

Here's the proposal. Fully realized, it would cost $200,000. This would be a bargain. It would bring in a neutral arbiter with a proven track record (solid advice to Arkansas in coping with the Lakeview decision, for one) that wouldn't be entangled in district politics. Picus could make difficult suggestions without fear of stepping on toes, such as by suggesting different ways of spending money (in the classroom rather than at the central office, for example). You need not read far to see that this group doesn't sugarcoat the problems facing the district.

The district is at a critical juncture, as always. The co-chairs of the committee recommending this approach are former state Sen.Jim Argue and Terence Bolden, who has long been a community activist for the cause of at-risk kids. The committee is packed with familiar names of committed public education believers, representing all the key segments of the district. My column may be outdated in one respect. Though Watson appointed this committee, she was quoted as expressing reservations about its work when it became clear that it was taking the project VERY seriously, perhaps even to the point of shaking up the district's administrative ways. I understand she may now be more supportive.

We all should be. This money -- a one-time expenditure -- should qualify for federal stimulus spending. It would be produce a big-picture set of recommendations that could produce millions in more effective spending and, we hope, better educational results. The work could start next month. That's not a minute too soon.

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Give us your tired, your poor .... and Trump will harm them

    The Trump administration has revoked legal status for 50,000 Haitian immigrants. This means 27,000 U.S. citizen children now have parents facing the dilemma of returning to Haiti or living in U.S. shadows as undocumented residents.
    • Nov 21, 2017
  • New report on ill consequences of charter schools

    A new report by the Network for Public Education challenges the talking points for the charter school movement and details ways they can be damaging to children and real public schools.
    • Nov 21, 2017
  • Little Rock Airport reports landing mishap

    The Clinton National Airport reports that brakes failed on a private aircraft landing shortly before midnight last night, but no one was hurt.
    • Nov 21, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • 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
  • Today in Trump: Obstruction of justice anyone?

    It's the New York Times with the news today. Fired FBI Director James Comey kept notes of his talks with Donald Trump. A memo he wrote in February after a meeting with Trump said the president asked him to shut down the investigation into Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser.
    • May 16, 2017
  • Saturday's open line

    Got any thoughts? Put them here.
    • May 21, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

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