Pressing to preserve high school journalism | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Pressing to preserve high school journalism

Posted By on Tue, Jun 12, 2018 at 9:18 AM

A LEARNING TOOL: High school newspapers.
  • A LEARNING TOOL: High school newspapers.
The Arkansas Press Association continues its likely hopeless battle to preserve journalism as a required course in the state's high schools.

The new Education Department curriculum rules go before a Legislative Council subcommittee today and then to final approval Friday, when the public may speak.

It is the position of the Arkansas Press Association that if schools are not required to offer journalism classes as an elective, then many districts simply won't, depriving high school students of the opportunity to learn objective thinking, community involvement, civic issues, fact-finding and news photography.

Research shows that students in journalism classes do better in school, in many ways, than non-journalism students. Jack Dvorak and his co-authors conducted a massive study in the 1990s.

We are urging you to reach out to the members of the subcommittee to stress the importance of journalism education in Arkansas. 
I'm with the APA on this but am far more concerned by other dilution of course offerings. No specific requirement for physics or world history, for example. I think this is another backdoor tactic to preserve small school districts, which have a hard-time funding and filling fuller courseloads. The thinking today is that if you teach coding (and good luck finding competent teachers of this for more than 200 school districts, charter schools and others) that's all you need to teach.

In any case, subcommittee contacts (tell them to do something about legislative corruption while you're at it):

Sen. David J. Sanders
Phone: 501-682-6107

Co-Chair Rep. Kim Hammer
Phone: 501-840-3841

Co-Chair Sen. Jim Hendren
Phone: 479-787-6222

Vice-Chair Rep. Ken Bragg
Phone: 870-917-9205

Vice-Chair Sen. Larry Teague
Phone: 870-845-5303

Rep. Lane Jean
Phone: 870-904-1856

Sen. Jonathan Dismang
Phone: 501-766-8220

Rep. Jeff Wardlaw
Phone: 870-226-9501

Sen. Jane English
Phone: 501-257-7670

Rep. Jeremy Gillam
Phone: 501-682-7771

Sen. Bruce Maloch
Phone: 870-235-7041

Rep. Joe Jett
Phone: 870-276-5319

Sen. Bart Hester
Phone: 479-531-4176

Rep. George B. McGill
Phone: 479-651-2107

Sen. Scott Flippo
Phone: 870-421-3420

Rep. Andy Davis
Phone: 501-837-5109

Sen. Bill Sample, ex officio
Phone: 501-624-3445

Rep. Jon S. Eubanks, ex officio
Phone: 479-438-0533

Sen. Terry Rice, ex officio
Phone: 479-637-3100

Rep. Jim Dotson, ex officio
Phone: 479-222-1234

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