Walker faults lottery scholarships UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Walker faults lottery scholarships UPDATE

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I was at John Walker's annual Christmas party when Clinton School Dean Skip Rutherford encouraged him to be provocative and talk candidly at his scheduled King day appearance today at the Clinton School.

Mission accomplished, apparently.

I wasn't there, but a listener who's heard portions of the talk on KARN (hey, Jack, how about getting an excerpt posted?) says he called the state's new lottery-funded college scholarship program racially discriminatory. 

Walker contends black students will be disproportionately set back by ACT and gradepoint minimums. Part of this, he contends, is because fewer black students take Advanced Placement courses, which pad gradepoints with more points than grades in regular courses.  He also said rules requiring a diploma certifying completion of a college prep curriculum in high school will discriminate against those who only earned a certificate of completion.

One listener tells me that Walker didn't threaten a lawsuit, but he certainly seemed to have given  deep thought to the subject.

The Clinton School will  have a video up eventually at this link.

UPDATE: On the jump, Jack Heinritz, news director at KARN, provides some quotes from Walker today.

"...the legislature set conditions for the scholarships: 1) high school graduation, that's easy; two, a 2.5 grade point average, well, that's easy; and three, scoring 19 on the A-C-T, and that may be easy."

"Cultured persons who follow the legislative process would know that most black high school students, beginning next year, will not be graduates from high school, they will receive "certificates of completion" from high schools - not diplomas. White students on the other hand will receive diplomas."

"Most black students who graduate with diplomas will not have received grade point averages of 2.5 or above. On the other hand, because of disproportionate placement of white students in A.P. classes, those students have enhanced grade opportunities, which almost guarantees them that with straight Cs they can't have anything but a three-point average."

"The average A-C-T score of African American students in Arkansas is 16...the average A-C-T score of white students is 21. What this means is the state benefits will continue to flow disproportionately to white students to the detriment of black students."

-- Jack Heinritz

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