State Board of Education to interview candidates for LR school advisory board | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

State Board of Education to interview candidates for LR school advisory board

Posted By on Tue, Jun 21, 2016 at 10:27 AM

click to enlarge lrschools.jpg

The state Board of Education has scheduled a special meeting at 5 p.m. Monday to interview candidates for seats on the community advisory board of the Little Rock School District, currently under state control.

A community advisory board has some limited role in advising state Education Commissioner Johnny Key, the nominal "school board" of the district. It was taken over on account of low scores on standardized tests in six of the district's 48 schools. A grassroots movement to regain local control has begun, but no timetable has been put forward on when there's any possibility of that occurring.

Little Rock's situation is complicated by politics. Legislation originating from the Walton Family Foundation was barely beaten in 2015 that would have allowed the total takeover of the district for management by private companies — essentially charterizing of the entire district. Key and Gov. Asa Hutchinson were supportive, as they are of all charter school and "choice" initatives backed by the Waltons and other wealthy Republicans.

UPDATED: Note I overlooked a former Board member, Greg Adams, on the original post.

Hutchinson appointees now control the state Board of Education, so it's well to watch for politics in the selection of advisory board members. The applicants for the jobs include three former school board members — Tommy Branch, Norma Johnson and three higher-profile former members sometimes on opposite sides of district divisions — former Board president Greg AdamsJoy Springer, who works for state Rep. John Walker's law firm, and Melanie Fox, who was involved in the hotly contested race in which state Rep. Clarke Tucker defeated Republican Stacy Hurst for a House seat. Fox supported Hurst and the race included Little Rock School District skulduggery in which Hurst put out misleading information about Tucker's pre-schooler's assignment. When Fox didn't seek re-election, she supported Leslie Fisken to succeed her. Fisken is now a $70,000-a-year executive assistant to Gov. Hutchinson.

The applicants for the seats:

ZONE 1: Chauncey Holloman, Gabe Holmstrom, Norma Johnson, Barclay Key and Joy Springer. 

ZONE 2:  Maria Chavarria-Garcia and Robert Webb

ZONE 3: Christopher Burks, Chandle Carpenter, Melanie Fox, Tippi McCullough.

ZONE 4: John Adams, John Thomas Adams, Mac Bell, Mark Fortune, Eugene Levy, Margarret Muse, Jeremy Owah and Jeff Wood.

ZONE 5: Tommy Branch, Larry Clark, Barry Vuletich and John Wilkerson.

ZONE 6: Derick Brooks, Van Golden, Anthony Hampton, Dr. Jessie Hargrove, Bruce Hill.

ZONE 7: Henry Brooks IV, Soreya DeGonzalez, Dianna Harshfield, Kandi Hughes, Kenyon Lowe Sr., Freddie Scott.

Race is a factor. When the board was disbanded, four of its seven members were black — Zones 1, 2, 6 and 7. A pending lawsuit by John Walker alleges race played a role in the state takeover of the district, particularly the majority white business community's unhappiness with the black-majority board. The district student enrollment is about 65 percent black and about 14 % (or one-seventh) Latino.

This link will take you to a state Education Department page with links about the process as well as link to individual resumes of each applicant.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Womack gets questions. He doesn't answer

    The resistance mustered a turnout for a rare public appearance by U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, which meant a ferry ride from Peel, Ark., and a drive almost to Missouri. He didn't seem happy to see them.
    • Aug 22, 2017
  • Democratic Party calls for resignation of Jake Files

    The Arkansas Democratic Party says Republican Sen. Jake Files of Fort Smith should resign over news about handling of state General Improvement Fund money that wound up with him, not the project for which it was intended.
    • Aug 22, 2017
  • Rutledge touts effort to allow discrimination against gay people

    Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is braying about her intervention in yet another out-of-state lawsuit — this one to protect a Washington state florist who doesn't want to sell flowers to gay people for use at their wedding.
    • Aug 22, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Jason Rapert vs. Wikipedia

    Sen. Jason Rapert against the world: Wikipedia edition.
    • Jan 23, 2016
  • Among the last words from Kenneth Williams: 'Finger Lickin' Good Fried Chicken'

    What's purported to be a final-words essay from condemned prisoner Kenneth Williams was distributed today by Deborah Robinson, a freelance journalist in Arkansas.  He reflects on his execution, his victims, reactions of inmates and big servings of fried chicken, which he says are given to all inmates on execution days.
    • Apr 27, 2017
  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Tuesday's open line

    • Sorry--I posted the wrong list above. The current list is for the class of 2021…

    • on August 23, 2017
  • Re: Tuesday's open line

    • To distract from the Trump craziness, here is the annual Beloit College Mindset List. It…

    • on August 23, 2017
  • Re: Womack gets questions. He doesn't answer

    • Big thanks to the Indivisible members who took the time to make that out-of-the-way trip…

    • on August 22, 2017



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation