Little Rock school hearing underway | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Little Rock school hearing underway

Posted By on Wed, Jan 28, 2015 at 10:30 AM

click to enlarge SWEARING IN: Dexter Suggs, Chris Heller and Greg Adams prepare to speak. - BRIAN CHILSON
  • Brian Chilson
  • SWEARING IN: Dexter Suggs, Chris Heller and Greg Adams prepare to speak.

click to enlarge OPPOSES TAKEOVER: John Walker. - BRIAN CHILSON
  • Brian Chilson
  • OPPOSES TAKEOVER: John Walker.
The state Board of Education has begun what promises to be a lengthy hearing on what to do about the six Little Rock School District schools in academic distress.

The School District argues for steps that focus on the schools, not an entire district takeover. Attorney Chris Heller repeated his argument that a takeover goes beyond what the law anticipates. Superintendent Dexter Suggs, asked for specifics on obstacles to doing his job, said there had been none. He said only he was concerned the School Board's current "energy" might not continue for the four or five years it will take to improve the schools.

Board President Greg Adams said the district was not accepting the status quo and listed solid achievements the district has recorded. He urged all parties to stop trying to place blame and instead collaborate on solutions.
"I dont think we're going to fail," he said.

State Rep. John Walker spoke against takeover, which he said was generated by a "small group of persons who purport to be the community fathers and the ones who set policy."  He said the chamber has done nothing to help poor, black children in the city core. He said district decisions were made by administrators, not teachers. They make the policies and adverse decisions and have never been strictly evaluated. Accountability "frightens" those people, he said. He said the chamber wants the state to take over the schools because their effort to elect a friendly school board majority had failed. He said the state shouldn't take schools over without a plan or simply to contract the job out to someone else.

Sen. Joyce Elliott noted that distress is based solely on two test scores. That prompted Board member Alice Mahony to note the percentage of poor and special ed students at schools in distress. Shouldn't that be a factor considered? Of course. The complete picture isn't there, Elliott said, including surrounding community.

I'm turning it over to Benji Hardy, who's on the scene and will continue in a separate post.

Tags: , , , , , , ,



Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Is the legislature 'routinely corrupt'? A few dozen examples say yes.

    Is the Arkansas legislature routinely corrupt? In the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette today, one  legislator wrote in the op-ed section that it is not while Michael Wickline reported a powerful argument in favor on page one. And I list a lot more.
    • Sep 23, 2018
  • Saturday's open line includes Kavanaugh news and a stunning political ad

    Here's the open line. For entertainment, if you have one minute, watch this political ad against  Republican Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona. Wait for it.   In other news: It appears the hearing is on for Christine Blasey Ford to talk about Brett Kavanaugh's alleged sexual assault of her when she was 15 and he was an older high school student.
    • Sep 22, 2018
  • Remembering an ‘enemy of the people’ of 1957

    David Margolick pays tribute today in a New York Times op-ed to Jerry Dhonau, the former Arkansas Gazette editorial writer who died recently. He invoked a modern theme.
    • Sep 22, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Your daily dose of Jason Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert really, really didn't like it when a KATV reporter asked him about the hypocrisy of his political arguments.
    • Feb 4, 2017
  • Trump's strangulation of Obamacare

    If he can't kill it outright, Donald Trump will do all he can to cripple Obamacare. Vox has detailed reporting on deep cuts in federal spending that support nonprofit agencies that help people sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
    • Sep 18, 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


Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments


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