Little Rock school committee raises concerns about charter expansions | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Little Rock school committee raises concerns about charter expansions

Posted By on Tue, Mar 29, 2016 at 2:21 PM

The state Board of Education has a hearing Thursday evening on expansion of charter schools in the Little Rock School District. The chairs of the community advisory committee to the district — now under state control — have written the following letter expressing concerns about the expansion. The committee has no power, but meets to hear about progress in the district and make suggestions.

To the members of the Arkansas State Board of Education (SBE):

On behalf of the Little Rock School District (LRSD) Civic Advisory Committee (CAC), we are writing to express concerns about the proposed expansions of eStem and LISA Academy charter school systems.

Our previously expressed concerns for the potential negative impacts of these expansions on the efforts of the LRSD to reform itself into a district with broad and sustainable academic success remain. These concerns were reported to you at past SBE meetings and through documentation provided both by the CAC and the LRSD when these proposals were being considered by the Charter Authorizing Panel. The more we have learned about these proposals and considered their possible consequences, the greater our worry for the welfare the LRSD and our students has become.

We submit that the LRSD already faces more competition in the education environment with more choices for families than any other school district in Arkansas. If competition and choice by themselves led to improved quality of education all-around, then the LRSD would not have been taken over for academic distress. The consequences of choice and competition for existing school districts are clearly complex. Considering this complexity and that the SBE is essentially the governing body for the LRSD and every charter school operating within the LRSD, we ask that the SBE first develop an expressed consensus on the following questions before approving any charter school expansion in the LRSD:

* What is the vision for public education in Little Rock, including the LRSD and charter schools?

* What is the plan for achieving this vision?

* How will this plan be implemented?

* How will possible expansion of charter schools impact the improvement efforts of the LRSD?

* How will possible expansion of charter schools impact students who remain in the LRSD?

* How can the negative effects of possible expansion of charter schools on LRSD improvement efforts and remaining LRSD students be minimized?

* How will possible expansion of charter schools be helpful to the over 20,000 students who will remain in the LRSD?

We believe that until these questions are fully considered and answered, it would be irresponsible to approve charter school expansions. All parties, supporters and stakeholders in public education in Little Rock deserve to understand the answers to these questions as they will directly impact our children, neighborhoods and community for years to come. Because of the state takeover, we have no local representation in these matters and can only look to you on the SBE for answers and guidance. With the stakes so high for all involved, especially for our children, we ask that the time and effort to address these questions be provided.

Sincerely,

Greg Adams and Dionne Jackson
CAC Co-Chairs
On a related topic:  The Arkansas Public Policy Panel's executive director, Bill Kopsky, will join Arkansas WAND, a community group with roots in the peace movement, to discuss the impact of charter school expansion on the Little Rock School District at a meeting a 6 p.m. today at US Pizza in Hillcrest.

Tags: , , , , ,


Favorite

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Jared Henderson outlines health goals

    Jared Henderson, the Democratic candidate for governor, has released a list of ideas to improve access to health care and reduce costs, leading with an end to the computer work reporting requirement for participation in the expanded Medicaid program. "Our focus needs to be ensuring that Medicaid funds are spent appropriately and effectively, not making it harder for citizens that need coverage to get it," he said.
    • Sep 18, 2018
  • Tuesday's open line and the daily news roundup

    The open line and the day's news roundup.
    • Sep 18, 2018
  • Bryant High School band withdraws from French Hill campaign rally

    The Bryant High School Band has withdrawn from a planned appearance at a campaign rally Friday for Republican U.S. Rep. French Hill after learning it was a political event.
    • Sep 18, 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
  • 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
  • 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

Slideshows

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

 

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