Quote of the week
“The event in the ’50s was never completed. It is a lesson which keeps on giving in many areas. Nine teenage children went to Central High in a fight against 1900 white children. They were tormented for a whole year in a hostile atmosphere. That behavior still lies beneath the surface. It appears in the desire to create charter schools; it appears in all of the reversals of fair housing, fair jobs, protection for our water and air, etc. It isn’t just about Central High alone. That torment affected the quality of education in Little Rock forever. It set a tone and established that separate can never be equal and yet still Little Rock insists on separate and unequal. Little Rock has never resolved the decision of Brown vs. Topeka and has never taken it seriously. Until they do they must relive the lessons of the ’50s.
Little Rock demonstrates a deep-seated fear. It is about a fear of sharing; a belief that there is not enough for everyone and I must therefore hang on to what I have and clamber for more because it might disappear. It is also about a belief that I’m better than others but the fear that maybe I’m not. I might find that out if you had the opportunities I have. I might find out who I truly am.” — Melba Pattillo Beals, a member of the Little Rock Nine, in a recent Q&A posted to the website Quora.com.
New to state BOE
Governor Hutchinson filled two seats on the state Board of Education last week, naming Dr. Sarah Burks Moore of Stuttgart to replace Joseph Black and Kathy McFetridge of Springdale to succeed Mireya Reith.
Both will serve seven-year terms.
The appointees replace Gov. Mike Beebe appointees, particularly Reith, who occasionally broke with growing board favor of the school “choice” agenda, particularly charter school growth, advanced by the Walton Family Foundation, other wealthy Arkansans and key Republicans such as Hutchinson.
Moore, who has a doctorate in education policy, has a resume as a classroom teacher and administrator that includes time at the University of Arkansas Office of Education Policy, where Walton-supported faculty have produced a steady amount of publications to support their agenda. More recently, she has been an education policy adviser to the governor. She’s published work praising charter schools.
McFetridge, co-owner of a film and video production company, resigned recently from the Springdale School Board after 27 years.
Hutchinson said the two provide a “well-rounded perspective” to the board.
Reith was the only Hispanic member of the board in a state with a significant Hispanic population, but McFetridge brings experience from a district with one of the largest populations of Hispanic students.
Black’s replacement with Moore will reduce the number of African Americans on the nine-member board to two.
New at the zoo
The Little Rock Zoo has added a pair of 2-year-old male cheetahs to its Laura P. Nichols Cheetah Outpost. They join a 7-year-old female that has been at the zoo since 2012.
For now, males and female will be kept in separate yards. The males were born at the Cincinnati Zoo Mast Farm, which is dedicated to cheetah conservation.
The cheetah, the world’s fastest land animal, is considered vulnerable. The population has declined to about 8,000 in the wild because of poaching and loss of habitat, the zoo said.
Long to KU
Jeff Long, fired as University of Arkansas athletic director before the end of a disappointing football season along with head coach Bret Bielema, has been hired as athletic director at Kansas.
He was making almost $1.3 million a year at the UA when he was booted with a contract that provided $1 million-a-year severance payments. The UA put total severance at $4.6 million, but said it could be “mitigated” by outside earnings. The UA obligation should be fully mitigated because Long, 58, reportedly will be paid $1.5 million a year for five years.