University of Arkansas annnounces $10 million Walton grant for training teachers in high-poverty schools | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

University of Arkansas annnounces $10 million Walton grant for training teachers in high-poverty schools

Posted By on Wed, Dec 6, 2017 at 8:00 AM

The University of Arkansas issued a news release this morning confirming a project I mentioned yesterday morning — a Walton Family Foundation grant to work with teachers in high-poverty schools.

The release says the foundation will spend $10.2 million over three years on  the Arkansas Academy for Educational Equity. The project will be headed by education professors Tom Smith and Gary Ritter. I reported earlier they'd been meeting with Little Rock School Superintendent Michael Poore about the special needs for teachers in a high poverty urban district like Little Rock. The news release said the program will be for low-income schools across the state.

Smith and Ritter will hire about a dozen people who will provide training over the summer and mentoring during the school year to 150 to 200 licensed, early career teachers. They will target teachers who've been effective and who want to improve their work.

The idea was inspired by federal legislation that encouraged teacher training apart from traditional licensure programs, the release said.

The news release doesn't mention it, but Poore said — and emails among participants indicate — there's been discussion about a new master's degree program in education equity that addresses similar aims.

Jared Henderson, who has led Teach for America's operation on Arkansas, has been a participant in planning for the project.

The UA resisted for a week providing information about the project and refused to answer my specific questions, which directly related to information provided in the news release this morning. This is in keeping with UA's typical secretive handling of matters financed by Walton money. A key project funded in the past by the Waltons is the "education reform" unit at UA, which produces supporting work for, among other things, their charter school agenda. Ritter, who holds a chair endowed by Walton money, emphasized that this latest project addresses "traditional public schools." The project will include an "evaluation and research component."

UPDATE: Here's the full outline of the grant application with the conditions to be met by UA in fulfilling it.  It anticipates working with 10 school districts in time (three the first year) and attempting to recruit 200 master degree candidates over three years. Test scores will be among the indicators of success in the program.

Tags: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The assault weapon open line

    The open line. And report of the arrest of a man with an AR-15 who threatened to shoot people at a Springdale business.
    • Feb 17, 2018
  • A primary challenger for Rep. Laurie Rushing

    Blue Hog Report has some news on a Republican primary challenge of an incumbent legislator, Rep. Laurie Rushing, by Ernie Hinz of Hot Springs.
    • Feb 17, 2018
  • A common-sense gun measure draws no sponsors from Arkansas

    Republicans, including at least one from Arkansas, are talking about repealing the Dickey Amendment which prohibits gun research from a public health perspective. But none of them are yet willing to DO anything about it.
    • Feb 17, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • A mayor stands up against freeway widening. No. Not in Little Rock.

    Another booming city, Indianapolis, fights ever wider urban freeways. Meanwhile, back in Little Rock .....
  • In the margins

    A rediscovered violin concerto brings an oft-forgotten composer into the limelight.
  • Donald Trump is historically unpopular — and not necessarily where you think

    My colleagues John Ray and Jesse Bacon and I estimate, in the first analysis of its kind for the 2018 election season, that the president's waning popularity isn't limited to coastal cities and states. The erosion of his electoral coalition has spread to The Natural State, extending far beyond the college towns and urban centers that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. From El Dorado to Sherwood, Fayetteville to Hot Springs, the president's approval rating is waning.
  • Arkansans join House vote to gut Americans with Disabilities Act

    Despite fierce protests from disabled people, the U.S. House voted today, mostly on party lines, to make it harder to sue businesses for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. Of course Arkansas congressmen were on the wrong side.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: The assault weapon open line

    • "Americans Mark Second Straight President's Day Without One."--Andy Borowitz "It is unfair that Trump has…

    • on February 17, 2018
  • Re: A common-sense gun measure draws no sponsors from Arkansas

    • If mental health problems were slaughtering everyone other countries would have the same problem but…

    • on February 17, 2018
  • Re: An open line to end the week

    • Mag--if you copied your post from and earlier thread, it doesn't contain the full link…

    • on February 17, 2018

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