by Max Brantley
I'm a continent away and totally out of touch, but I have a request to post this news release concerning denial of a charter school application in the LR School District. Here it is on the jump in the interest of further discussion. I imagine |I will have something to say on this eventually.
CHARTER SCHOOL N£WS RELEASE
Education Consortia President calls for Case by Case Review of Charter School Applications
Dr. R.J. Hampton, President of Education Consortia, Inc. the sponsoring organization of
Learning for Life Academy, a proposed charter school targeted to ‘students with emerging abilities” stated in response to the Little Rock School District’s objection to the application submitted by Learning for Life Academy, “We applaud Mr. Daugherty’s courage in taking a stand for innovation in education and making the educational needs of all our children a top priority of the Little Rock School Board. The positions taken by Mr. Daugherty and Mr. Berkely on Charter schools is a welcome sign that School Board members may be finding the common ground needed to reach the goal of Board Chair Katherine Mitchell “to work together from this day forward”.
It is ironic that as the vote was being taken to limit the ability of the school district to respond to challenges facing our community two deadly shootings took place in Little Rock. A goal of Learning for Life Academy is to provide an educational program geared toward youth and families exposed to risk factors associated with crime and violence. A witness response to the shooting as reported in the Arkansas-Democrat Gazette is a critical and timely reference, “This is a just a mess, I’m mad. Mad that this could happen in the middle of a busy street. Mad that somebody’s failed at giving these people some sense”. We believe that the institution of education bears some of the responsibility for giving people ‘sense”.
Learning for Life Academy proposes to extend the service base of its school to assist in helping parents of “youth with emerging abilities” meet the challenges of life caused by poverty, poor education and family structure. The school seeks to build a “sure” education foundation for youth in grades 4-8 on educational principles that shape values based on content and discipline.
Dr, Hampton further stated “Mr. Daugherty and Mr. Berkely may have different reasons for their “votes of conscience” but they have shown a willingness to place the generic mission of providing education services with the community, the administrative mechanism ought to be servant to the needs of the community rather than its dictator. We hope the District will adopt a policy of case by case evaluation of Charter school applications and encourage the free flow of ideas in education. We believe such a policy will place the education of our youth as the top priority of our School District.