Sunday, January 25, 2015

Arkansas BATs - TAKE ACTION FOR LITTLE ROCK

Arkansas needs your help.  On Wednesday, the Arkansas Board of Education is going to determine what to do with the largest school district in Arkansas, the Little Rock School District. They are threatening to take over the entire district of 48 schools because 6 of the 48 schools are in academic distress – in spite of the ADE having controlled their curriculum for six years. This would undoubtedly result in charters, union-busting, and replacement of teachers.
We are asking you to send polite emails, tweets, posts to any or all of the following, most importantly, to Gov. Hutchinson and the members of the ADE board, and the Chamber of Commerce in support of allowing the new LRSD school board, all members who have been elected by the community, to retain control of the district.   Here are some talking points and the contact information.
Thank you for your support.
Arkansas Bats
·                  Arkansas Department of Education classifies 6/48 schools in the Little Rock School District as in academic distress
·                  Hall, Fair, McClellan high schools;  Cloverdale, Henderson middle schools, and Baseline Elementary are the schools in distress
·                  The ADE has been directing curriculum in these distressed schools for at least 6 years; America’s Choice and Pearson curriculum have not achieved noticeable improvement.
·                  There has been a charge for the ADE to take over the entire Little Rock School District, led by Diane Zook.
·                  Diane Zook has been vocal about not letting the community express an opinion on the takeover
·                  The takeover has been supported by various Real Estate agencies.
·                  Diane Zook’s husband, Randy Zook, is the head of the Chamber of Commerce http://www.arkansasstatechamber.com/who-we-are/our-staff.html
·                  Diane Zook’s nephew, Gary Newton (https://www.facebook.com/RaiseOurGrade
 http://www.arkansaslearns.org/staff/details.asp?id=17036, https://www.facebook.com/ArkansasLearns )) is the lobbyist for the Walton Foundation and is being paid by Walton to denegrate LRSD (http://www.arktimes.com)
·                  The Walton Foundation owns Teach for America, which contracts for college grads to teach for two years, and gives them only five weeks of training before putting them into a classroom at “temp” rates and Walton promotes charter schools.
·                  Charter schools can pick and choose their students, and are free to ask anyone to leave if test scores, behavior, or special needs are perceived as a detriment.  And yet, charter schools are scoring no better, and oftentimes worse, than public schools.
·                  Diane Zook should recues herself from the board on this issue due to conflicts of interest
·                  The sitting ADE Board have all been appointed by Governor Beebe, now out of office
·                  Governor Beebe was a supporter of and signer to both the Common Core State Standards and Parcc testing
·                  There is not one public school educator on the board
·                  State law does allow for ADE takeover for schools in academic distress but not for whole districts, unless the whole district is in academic distress
·                  42 of the 48 schools in LRSD are not in academic distress and Central High School consistently leads the state in national merit scholarships. Central and 4 other schools have been awarded Outstanding Educational Awards by the University of Arkansas.
·                  The LRSD school board has been elected by the community; the ADE answers to no one.
What you can do:
Email, call, or tweet the following and protest the state takeover of Arkansas’ biggest school district before the new school board can institute changes in the six academically failing schools:
CONTACT INFORMATION NOT LISTED ABOVE:
Governer Asa Hutchinson   twitter:   @asahutchinson
Phone          501-682-2345
List of Arkansas ADE Board Members and Email

 Chairman, Samuel Ledbetter    sam@mcmathlaw.com

Vice Chair:  Toyce Newton   tnewton@phoenixyouth.com

Joe Black   jblack07@earthlink.com

Alice Williams Mahony    bigal2@suddenlink.net

Mireya Reith     mireya.reith@gmail.com

Vicki Saviers         vsaviers@aol.com

Jay Barth    Jay@jaybarth.org

Diane Zook ddzook@aol.com

(Mr.) Kim Davis    kimdavisadeboard@gmail.com


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