Record number of presidential scholar nominees at Central High | Arkansas Blog

Record number of presidential scholar nominees at Central High

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CENTRAL HIGH: Somebody managed to get an education apparently.
  • CENTRAL HIGH: Somebody managed to get an education apparently.

The Little Rock School District is a total failure. The state Board of Education says so. The Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, nominally interested in boosting the city as a place to live and work, says so. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette says so. Gary Newton, the Walton Family Foundation-paid point man for charter school creation, says so.

Somehow or another, the occasional student gets an education. For the record:

Based on standardized tests scores and other criteria, 13 students at Little Rock Central High — one of the largest groups from a single school in the country — have been chosen for consideration in the annual United States presidential scholars program.

Newton can explain to their parents how this is meaningless. That Central should be busted up. That  his white part of town needs a high school to be fed by his middle class charter middle school. And so on.

Nonetheless, a tip of the hat to the 13 who somehow managed to get an education amid the ruins of Little Rock's former democratically operated school district:


Trisha Bhattacharya
Chen-Bo Fang
Sherry T. Gao
Sarthak Garg
Clark M. Kennedy
Rachana Kombathulsa
Ray Li
Jace J. McPhershon
Matthew Ponder
Shruti M. Shah
Chandler J. Smith
Chuang Z. Tang
Jeong-Min Wui

About 3,900 candidates are identified nationwide. A class of 141 is chosen.

(Those who aren't regular readers might not recognize the sarcasm.)

UPDATE: Here's the full list of 56 nominees. There are eight nominees from all other Little Rock high schools.




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