by Max Brantley
The Arkansas Board of Education voted 7-1 today to give a three-year renewal to the Academics Plus charter school in Maumelle, but wouldn't allow an increase in the enrollment. The school also wanted a 20-year renewal.
The Little Rock School District opposed the expansion of the school, which is predominantly white and middle class despite having promised when it opened that was going to reach out to minority and poor students.
It was noted that the school doesn't show strong improvement in student scores, particularly against schools with similar demographic make up. From the state department's blog:
Board Chairman Mays said he wondered whether the school was simply creating an option for the haves not to attend school with the have-nots.
In practice, particularly in those years before the Pulaski School District build new schools in the growing city, the answer was yes.