Speaking of school woes | Arkansas Blog

Speaking of school woes

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Another day, another editorial smear of the Little Rock School District in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. (sub. required). The editorial does contain some justified criticism of Superintendent Linda Watson's resistance to the work of a community-based strategic planning committee. The committee has made a number of concrete and demanding suggestions for the district. (Contrary to the DOG's negativity, the ideas are well-received by many on the school board.)

What irks was the latest in the editorial page's incessant invocation of "reform-minded" former LR school superintendent Roy Brooks. If the firing of Brooks the Great by LRSD was such a terrible thing, why doesn't the DOG lament the recent unceremonious cashiering of Brooks by the DOG publisher-supported e-Stem Charter School (after he first underwent a drastic pay cut). A towering figure in school reform in Arkansas remarked to me recently that he wished he could make $1 million (as Brooks did in his LRSD buyout and from a grotesquely enlarged paycheck at e-Stem) for being mediocre.

Roy Brooks was just another school bureaucrat who talked a better game than he delivered. But he did know who to kiss up to, as when he struck his infamous secret deal with DOG publisher Walter Hussman on a merit pay plan that even sympathizers at the UA Reform School have said was poorly designed. The DOG-reviled "Gang of Four" at LRSD just figured it out quicker than the e-Stem braintrust.

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