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The State Board of Education's controversial plan to waive the Teacher Fair Dismissal Act in the Little Rock School District (and now others under state takeover) has received a lot of attention in recent weeks. But few people are aware of a broader threat to educational standards, accountability and transparency for every public school in the state: waivers under Act 1240 of 2015.
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Racial prejudice and discrimination have long driven Arkansas politics and public policy. Arkansas's tax policies have especially perpetuated the harm of past racism and done little to reduce the systemic barriers faced by people of color today.
With Education Commissioner Johnny Key assigning blame for low-performing Little Rock School District schools on LRSD teachers by moving toward seeking a waiver to the Arkansas Teacher Fair Dismissal Act, I would respectfully ask that he step back and consider the larger issue of disproportionate resources distributed among our public school students.
For too long, Arkansas lawmakers have been beholden to the gun lobby, and gun-violence prevention policies that are proven to save lives have been ignored. The Arkansas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is working to change that.
State Education Commissioner Johnny Key recently announced he intends to ask the state to grant principals the ability to fire teachers, without due process, in what the state considers failing schools. As a parent of a Little Rock School District student, I thought it would be prudent to share my analysis of the data provided by the Arkansas Department of Education
I was 15 years old when I stepped into the halls of Little Rock Central High School in 1998. Attending that historic school as a young black man was a surreal experience that both informed my identity and illuminated regrettable aspects and actions in our nation's history and culture.
Like all states, Arkansas has two statues selected by the legislature to represent our state in the U.S. Capitol. Uriah Rose, a successful and innovative lawyer, and James P. Clarke, a former governor and U.S. senator, have represented Arkansas in National Statuary Hall for approximately 100 years.
Earlier this year, I faced one of the hardest moments in my medical career. It had nothing to do with a challenging treatment or an unfamiliar case. In fact, it had nothing to do with my profession — and everything to do with politics.
The state Board of Education will be voting Thursday, Sept. 13, on the location and curriculum for the Arkansas Governor's School for the coming four years. Both setting and curriculum are absolutely critical to the success of the Governor's School, and changing both would be detrimental.
We must not allow state Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway) to frame the lawsuits generated against his placement of a Ten Commandments monument on the state Capitol grounds as an assault upon Christianity itself — or, as he does when he's pretending that the monument serves a secular function, an assault upon American "heritage and history."
I was taught to turn lights out when I was not using them. We pay extra for electricity to finance energy-saving programs that involve devices that turn lights out when not in use. Yet, the city of Little Rock recently sent an email advising citizens to combat crime by leaving outside lighting on all night. That is backward, ineffectual, potentially counterproductive and environmentally irresponsible advice.