I want to tout again the analysis by Dr. Michael Mills of the correlation between race and poverty and school report card grades in Arkansas that are being used as the justification by Education Commissioner Johnny Key and Gov. Asa Hutchinson for pushing a contract change that will allow summary firing of teachers in 22 Little Rock schools. And check this graphic summary of Mills’ statistical work, which allows you to easily see how grades track race and income, not just in Little Rock but statewide.
Some reminders of other key facts outlined by Mills:
* There are no A or B high schools in the state with a majority black or poor population and only 4 with a C rating. All the schools targeted for easier firing in Little Rock are majority black and poor schools. School grades statewide correlate with racial and poverty levels, as the chart at top shows.
* Not a single school in Arkansas with a majority black or majority poor enrollment graded at A. Only three such schools earned Bs. Two of them are in the Little Rock School District — Gibbs and Williams.
* Of 16 majority black charter schools in the state, two have received Cs. The others are D and F schools.
Key has delayed getting rubber stamp approval of the summary firing waiver from the state Board of Education until he completes the two-week negotiation extension between his puppet superintendent, Michael Poore, and the Little Rock Education Association. There’s time in the meanwhile to let the state Board of Education and the governor and Key know that you’ve read these numbers of Mills’ letter before they move ahead — again — with another step in the Walton agenda to bust unions and privatize Little Rock schools.