Charter school accountability in Maumelle | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Charter school accountability in Maumelle

Posted By on Tue, Feb 15, 2011 at 6:22 AM

It's taken 10 years, but the state Board of Education has finally begun bringing some degree of accountability to charter schools.

Yesterday, the Board refused an expansion for the Academics Plus Charter School in Maumelle, which opened in 2001. It was supposed to reach out to poor and minority students. It has so far failed at that contractual mission, never meeting the minority enrollment its founders promised. It became pretty much a white flight haven for the city of Maumelle, in its founding years served by schools away from largely white Maumelle. Its test scores for the generally middle class student body have lagged. In one case familiar to me, an accomplished black student complained about school attitudes toward black students several years ago.

Finally, the school is going to participate in the school lunch program that subsidizes lower-income families. Finally, the school is trying to provide transportation to poorer students. Finally, the state Board is looking at test scores and results at the school. The Board should have applied this scrutiny 10 years ago, but the board was largely controlled for a number of years by charter school partisans, including even a board member employed by the Walton millions to advance charter schools at all costs. Thanks to Sam Ledbetter, Brenda Gullett, James Cooper and Ben Mays for raising the right questions. Academics Plus may get on track and meet its mission, thanks to such tougher scrutiny. If not, the state should end its support. One wonders whether any changes would have occurred without the recent invigoration of the state Board.

One question for State Education Director Tom Kimbrell: Where does a state agency get off resisting a Little Rock School District request in federal court to see state data on charter schools in Arkansas back to 2001. Accountability equals transparency. What is there to hide, Dr. Kimbrell? These are public schools, right?

Tags: ,


Favorite

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Wage campaign reports financial backer

    Arkansans for a Fair Wage, the committee backing an increase in the state minimum wage, reported this month a $350,000 contribution from the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a Washington-based nonprofit that has funded advocacy campaigns for social and environmental causes around the country.
    • Aug 15, 2018
  • When Sarah Sanders joined hands with the ACLU

    Pro Publica has a good retelling of a story familiar to most Arkansans — when OBU student Sarah Huckabee linked up with the ACLU to successfully challenge a Democrat's effort to discourage college student voting in Arkadelphia.
    • Aug 15, 2018
  • Wednesday's headlines and the open line

    Medicaid, guns, Satan and racism are covered in today's news roundup. Here's your open line.
    • Aug 15, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017
  • Tom Cotton's influence on Trump's new security chief

    U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton is getting credit for pushing President Donald Trump to select Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser, Politico reports.
    • Feb 21, 2017
  • Campus gun bill clears committee

    The so-called compromise amendment that will allow anyone 25 or older with a training certificate carry a concealed weapon on public college campuses was approved in a Senate committee this afternoon.
    • Feb 21, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

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