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Little Rock, Arkansas: Dr. Anika Whitfield Pleads for a Return of Democracy; by Diane Ravitch

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The state took control of the Little Rock School District because 6 of its 48 schools were low-performing. Instead of helping the schools, the state simply abolished local control. The Walton family dominance of the state's economy plays a large role in the state! In the absence of a democratically elected school board to manage the over $350 million dollar budget the sole appointed board member  &state commissioner of education missed all hearings.We want to know where have the city, county, state, federal, and limited and regulated private dollars been allocated, spent, diverted, or unused by the LRSD board, the ADE, & the LRSDadministration? Our list of demands begin with: Immediate return of entire LRSD; Local, democratic board elections or reinstatement of last elected board; Reopening of our neighborhood public schools they closed.  Nullification of the current blueprint.'more...

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I began teaching in 1963,; Ba and BS in Education -Brooklyn College. I have the equivalent of 2 additional Master's, mainly in Literacy Studies and Graphic Design. I was the only seventh grade teacher of English from 1990 -1999 at East Side (more...)
 

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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Don't miss this post, because it nails how the demolition of public schools is achieved. " Anyone who cares about the children and schools of Little Rock should listen to Dr. Whitfield who is a remarkable woman-- a podiatrist, an ordained Baptist minister, a tutor in the public schools of Little Rock for many years who is active in Save Our Schools Arkansas and Grassroots Arkansas. She is a fighter for social justice and equity. She wrote the following letter to Johnny Key, who is Commissioner of Education in the state." She demands that

1) Immediate return of entire LRSD.

2) Local, democratic board elections Nov. 2019 or reinstatement of last elected board. (You still have time to announce and prepare for Nov. 2019 elections by law. Failing to do so will only further indicate your willful sabotage of the will of The People, the majority of the LRSD stakeholders. )

3) An MOA that the SBE and ADE will commit to doing the LRSD no more harm.

4) Reopening of our neighborhood public schools they closed.

5) Nullification of the current blueprint.

6) Immediate establishment of a LRSD Student Union and Parent Union.

7) Full accounting of all LRSD financials during state control of LRSD; constructive trust with method for LRSD to recoup funds from the State.

8) Same standards for private schools and charter schools as for public schools.

9) Higher qualifications for board members, both state and local/district; including requirement that some board members be certified educators.

10) Evidence-driven programs and solutions in all LRSD schools; examples include the early childhood development program at Rockefeller Elementary and the school-based health program at Stephens Elementary.

11) Make public input more accessible for parents and others responsible for children by providing child care at public meetings.

We expect a public response from you today.

Submitted on Sunday, Sep 1, 2019 at 1:08:51 AM

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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"Something is eerily wrong here. It is a plague that has infected our state governments and local municipalities"right up into our national government. The snickering of an "education" secretary, and the silence of state appointed leaders are actions by dangerous players in the systematic destruction of our American way."

Submitted on Sunday, Sep 1, 2019 at 1:14:52 AM

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