Beebe on charters | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Beebe on charters

Posted By on Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 6:16 AM

Gov. Mike Beebe thinks it's perfectly appropriate to consider whether racial impact of charter school decisions in the Little Rock School District might run afoul of the long-running federal desegregation lawsuit.

Beebe's careful and common-sense approach to most issues, including some hotly divisive ones, is welcome. It is particularly welcome when a hired hand for the charter school lobby, former Education Department lawyer Scott Smith, says there's no need to worry about resegregation because the school district has been declared desegregated.

A strict legal standard isn't the only standard that should guide the state Board of Education. Just because the law might allow the state to create schools that will harm desegregation efforts doesn't mean that it should. The Board shouldn't create a charter school in Little Rock -- or anywhere else in the state -- when it's clear that the application is driven primarily by a desire to create an island of separateness from the prevailing demographics in the school district charter schoolers hope to depart. A charter school should have a sound educational purpose, a purpose unmet by the existing school district. The state must be careful about approving schools anywhere that will be segregative -- whether by race, gender, religion, income or other defining characteristic. It may do so anyway, but it should have sound education reasons for doing it.

The Board yesterday continued a welcome pattern of giving tough scrutiny to charter applications and disapproving those that didn't meet the aims of the state charter law. It is not enough, for example, that people in a small community want to create a charter school to avoid consolidation with another school district.

Arkansas will have more charter schools. But if they come with the reasoned thinking that Beebe and his Education Board appointees seem to be bringing to the deliberations, there should be little ground for complaint.


Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Arkansas: Land of .......

    Welcome to Arkansas: Land of cowardly politicians, discriminatory laws, inhumane turkey drops and lots and lots of Trump voters.
    • Oct 8, 2016
  • French Hill votes against disaster aid to Puerto Rico

    Republican U.S. Rep. French Hill alone among Arkansas's House delegation voted last week against a measure that provided $36.5 billion in disaster aid, a portion  for hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico as well as money for wildfire response and to support the flood insurance program.
    • Oct 14, 2017
  • UPDATE: Hutchinson moves to cover himself on cut to War Memorial Stadium

    Gov. Asa Hutchinson apparently felt the burn from KARK's exclusive Tuesday night on his plans to cut state support of War Memorial Stadium in half beginning July 1, 2018. He has a so-far secret plan to make the stadium self-sustaining. We bet that doesn't include state support.
    • Oct 20, 2016

Most Viewed

  • The yawning teacher pay gap between Arkansas school districts

    Before Arkansas congratulates itself for outpacing Oklahoma on teacher pay, we should take a look at the huge disparity in salaries within the state. New teachers in Bentonville may make almost $46,000 a year, but new teachers in many other districts will start the 2018-19 school year earning $31,800 — less than the starting salary in Tulsa.
  • Anonymous Harding University students relaunch LGBTQ publication, campus security removes copies

    A group of anonymous Harding University students on Friday published an "HU Queer Press 2.0" zine, covering issues of gay rights at the private, Churches of Christ-affiliated campus in Searcy. A similar publication, "The State of the Gay at Harding University," set off a firestorm of controversy at Harding seven years ago. Shortly after the publication was distributed, campus security officers began gathering the copies of the zine and throwing them in the trash.

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation