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Friday, September 9, 2016

Friday, September 9, 2016 - 07:25:00

In praise of Diane Zook for questions on voucher program

Diane Zook, the state Board of Education member who's drawn criticism here before and will again for her zeal for charter schools and just about anything damaging to the Little Rock School District, distinguished herself at yesterday's Board meeting with questions about a new voucher program that will send taxpayer money to private, mostly religious schools.

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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Sunday, June 19, 2016 - 08:07:00

The future of LR schools: Pointed questions from Baker Kurrus

Outgoing Little Rock School Superintendent Baker Kurrus has raised some pointed questions about a committee appointed to consider collaboration of true public school districts and charter schools in Pulaski County. In short: What's the point if the outcome is pre-determined?

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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Tuesday, May 31, 2016 - 17:15:00

Schools progressing on dyslexia interventions, but major gaps remain

Districts and charters reported about 5,400 students received dyslexia interventions, out of a statewide student population of around 476,000. But statistics show 10 to 20 percent of the population is dyslexic — meaning from 47,000 to 95,000 kids should be receiving services.

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Flake & Kelley

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Today's headlines: After the fire was gone

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Thursday, May 12, 2016 - 12:17:00

Flash: LR Prep pulls back expansion request

The smell ripens. In the midst of heated criticism of the state Education Department for hurrying up and waiving rules to allow an expansion request from the academically deficient Little Rock Preparatory Academy, Board member Diane Zook dropped a small bombshell: It has pulled back its expansion request.

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Monday, May 9, 2016

Monday, May 9, 2016 - 10:12:32

Mike Poore: Not ready to comment on latest charter school expansion in Little Rock. PS: Looks like fix is in.

Mike Poore, the incoming Little Rock school superintendent, isn't ready to express an opinion on the latest charter school expansion in Little Rock. The deal looks pre-baked. Work has already begun on the school despite lack of state Board of Education approval.

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Saturday, May 7, 2016

Saturday, May 7, 2016 - 08:02:00

Johnny Key fast-tracks LR charter school expansion in Walton-helped enterprise

The Hutchinson administration continues to press for speedy charter school expansions in the Little Rock School District, despite the current superintendent's belief that they are harmful to the state-run district. The latest one has financial support from the Walton fortune in the background, as usual when it comes to charter schools.

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Friday, April 29, 2016 - 11:57:00

Concentrated poverty equals poorer education

Education Week reports on a new database on racial achievement gaps in U.S. schools. I'll boil it down: The best predictor of an achievement gap is concentration of kids in high poverty schools.

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Flake & Kelley

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Today's headlines: After the fire was gone

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wednesday, April 27, 2016 - 20:49:00

New superintendent Poore in town, meets with Kurrus

A chat with Mike Poore, the new Little Rock school superintendent, produced answers to a few questions I wanted to ask. We hope to talk more tomorrow.

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Monday, April 25, 2016 - 04:49:00

Questions for Michael Poore

Michael Poore, the future Little Rock school superintendent, has been dodging the press, with the exception of one chat with the friendly Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The list of questions to be answered is long.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 07:33:00

Comments from Bentonville on Little Rock's new school chief

Little Rock's new school leader has both admirers and detractors in his current job in Bentovnille. Significantly, he joined religious forces in opposing an employment policy specifically protecting LGBT workers.

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Monday, April 18, 2016 - 23:02:00

UPDATED: Johnny Key dumps Baker Kurrus as Little Rock school superintendent; to replace with Bentonville's Poore

Baker Kurrus superintendent of the Little Rock School District, has been told by state Education Commissioner Johnny Key that he will be replaced. He is to work through June 30.

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Friday, April 15, 2016

Friday, April 15, 2016 - 09:20:00

Johnny Key discovers poverty could affect school performance. Do only charter schools get a pass?

Eureka! A Walton school choice agenda acolyte, state Education Commissioner Johnny Key, has discovered that some things like poverty should be taken into account in judging whether a school is failing or not. At least he believes it for charter schools.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 18:30:26

What happens to education spending if GOP hardliners kill Medicaid expansion

Speaker Jeremy Gillam's hypothetical life-without-Medicaid-expansion budget detailed around $30 million in cuts to public schools, and more to higher education. Here's what that means.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 10:16:00

Susan Harriman to head ForwARd Arkansas education initiative

ForwARd brings an executive director on board.

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Friday, April 8, 2016

Friday, April 8, 2016 - 11:31:00

In Massachusetts, charters clash with traditional schools over siphoning of funds

Those following the charter school debate in Arkansas should read up on a parallel fight in Massachusetts.

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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Thursday, March 31, 2016 - 11:34:00

ACLU investigating Mills High showing of 'Passion of the Christ,' teacher's classroom rant about 'liberalism' after complaints

The ACLU is looking into an incident in which a portion of the R-rated "The Passion of the Christ" was shown during a U.S. History class at Wilbur Mills High School, with the teacher of the course later going on a rant against liberals and political correctness when a student complaint to the school resulted in the rest of the film not being shown. Audio of the teacher's diatribe was recorded and forwarded to ACLU-Arkansas and, later, Arkansas Times. The teacher has been suspended.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Tuesday, March 29, 2016 - 13:00:00

Private schools tend to be whiter. Duh. But there's another point.

The Washington Post reports here on a new study that quantifies the whiteness of private education, particularly in the South.

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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Thursday, March 17, 2016 - 15:02:00

UPDATE: State board attempts to walk back decision to review charter schools

In a surprise move, the state Board of Education may reverse its decision to hold a public hearing on the question of allowing two Little Rock charter schools to significantly expand their operations in the city.

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Friday, March 11, 2016

Friday, March 11, 2016 - 05:00:00

State Board of Education pokes holes in law with generous waivers to school district

The decision was made with the best of intentions, as far as I could tell. But the result was a haphazard amalgam of carveouts that could set a dangerous precedent and weaken the rule of law in education policy.

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Thursday, March 10, 2016 - 15:03:00

State Board of Education votes to review charter school expansion

The state Board of Education voted today to review applications to expand eStem and LISA Academy, two charter schools that operate in the Little Rock School District.

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