Little Rock's case on charter schools | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Little Rock's case on charter schools

Posted By on Tue, Aug 24, 2010 at 6:55 PM

An entry for the late-night reading pleasure of education wonks and, particularly, wonks of the debate over charter schools.

Chris Heller, attorney for the Little Rock School District, has prepared two documents for filing in federal court on the district's contention that the state of Arkansas has broken its vow to take no further action to contribute to segregation in Pulaski County (as it did for decades.) The district argues that proliferation of open enrollment charter schools in the county has done just that.

You know that this point of view has precious few supporters. Even some excellent Little Rock School Board members, though unhappy about the way charter schools were established, nonetheless think the district should quit the fight and do the best with what it's left with. The Billionaires Club — lucky sperms name of Hussman, Walton, Murphy and Stephens and related — are spending vast sums to support advantaged charter schools and lobbying at the legislature to continue the explosion of charter schools in Pulaski County. The Arkansas and Little Rock chambers of commerce, butt boys of the billionaires as Tommy Robinson might have put it, are hurrying to trash the Little Rock School District so their rich controllers may achieve their political aims.

There's nobody much left but me and Chris Heller and a few doughty members of the LR School Board to stand up and say, "Is this still a nation of laws and courts?"

With that cool and detached introduction, I invite you to read two things:

1) Chris Heller's request for admissions from the state of Arkansas. It could not be clearer. The state has approved a parallel public school system in Pulaski County — in violation of court orders because it was done without giving a single thought to segregative effects. Some 5,000 kids will soon be enrolled in this parallel system. The state has never forced charter schools that promised to have diverse populations to be diverse. The state's approval and monitoring of charter schools in Pulaski has been non-existent. The state has allowed charter schools to be created that drained students from successful magnet schools created by court order to diminish segregation. Read these questions. It's a damning indictment. You might not like it, Luke Gordy, lobbyist to the billionaires and crafter of the recent nuclear attack on the LRSD, but read it. I know your masters in Bentonville will direct a nasty attack on the LRSD in response, but I hope when you go to bed at night you have a moment of remorse at being forced to devise lobbying campaigns to trash good people as the only means of combatting the plain truth.

2) Here's the request for information on charter school and public school enrollment. It should be interesting when produced.

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