by Max Brantley
Brummett, who was there, trots out the boxing metaphors for the joint appearance Saturday of Mike Beebe and Asa Hutchinson. Hutchinson is described as the aggressor, hoping to breathe life into a static campaign. Beebe is described as an effective counter-puncher. Sounds to us like Brummett gives the event to Beebe on points. But when there are no knockouts, you can be sure the audience is divided on the scoring. We agree with his prediction that Asa is likely to score some future points by pandering on the Paron high school closure.
But if you read the details in the D-G account of the Paron closing (sorry, no link available), it's hard to make a case for Paron High's continued existence. No student taking Algebra I? The best Paron defenders had to offer was the distance between Paron High and Bryant High, and it wasn't much, but this argument also overlooks the ability for students to go to the nearest school in neighboring districts. And shame on Chris Heller, who has lived on the LRSD's legal fees for years, for renting himself to a district that has been on the opposite side of the fundamental educational questions at the legislature. One district, his chief source of money, invests tons in broad curriculum and classes often packed with kids, while another has tiny, inefficient classes and regularly doesn't offer some of the most basic of required courses. Last year instrumental music was omitted at Paron. Try teaching that by TV.