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General News    H4'ed 9/4/19

The Walton Plot to Privatize the Public Schools of Arkansas; by Diane Ravitch

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'Arkansas is a poor state. Legislators are easy to buy in a poor state. The Waltons own quite a few. The Alabama Education Association did the research and described the empire  that the Waltons have constructed in service to their goal of owning and privatizing the public schools of Arkansas. In the Walton plan, there will be no “public schools,” only privately managed charter schools & vouchers for religious schools. Taxpayers and students would be better served by investing  scarce resources to improve our neighborhood public schools & helping all of the students; our public schools are the anchor of our communities, and the best way to expand opportunity for all.'

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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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and there is this: Little Rock, Arkansas: Dr. Anika Whitfield Pleads for a Return of Democracy | Diane Ravitch's blog

"The state took control of the Little Rock School District because six of its 48 schools were low-performing. Instead of helping the schools, the state simply abolished local control.

The Walton family plays a large role in the state due to its dominance of the state's economy and its many political lackies."


"We recognize that the absence of a democratically elected school board allows for the management of an over $350 million dollar budget in the hands of one person, Mr. Key (you), who has not been allocating funds in good faith according to the will and the knowledge of the LRSD community as an elected board is required.

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 (Mr. Key), the ADE, and the LRSD administration?ou missed the opportunity to learn, hear, and discuss with the more than 120 LRSD community members who attended all four of the public meetings held in four different locations in our city.

And, most importantly, you missed, as our sole board member and state commissioner of education, hearing and responding to our (the majority of the LRSD stakeholders who attended the meetings (at Roberts Elementary and St. Mark Baptist Church) list of demands: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."

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 4, 2019 at 1:33:07 PM

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