The state Board of Education
today voted to take over the Dollarway School District
because of its low test scores. Barbara Warren
was named as superintendent, to report to Education Commissioner Johnny Key.
Warren has been director of the Arkansas River Education Service Cooperative since 2011. She's been a teacher, principal and administrator and has worked in, among others, Pine Bluff and Stuttgart.
Dollarway has struggled for years. After taking over the Little Rock School District for failure of six of its 48 schools to score at 50 percent proficiency over three years, the state can't very well overlook other districts in similar circumstances though it has demonstrated more leeway to others on occasion, particularly charter schools
. The board rubberstamped some charter school applications today, including, by a 5-3 vote, one for Academics Plus
of Maumelle to run an elementary in Scott that was closed by the Pulaski District for financial reasons. Voters wouldn't approve a millage that allowed it to reopen. Academics Plus has good test scores, but it hasn't demonstrated any ability to particularly enhance the generally higher income white population it has served. It was established to provide opportunities for underserved kids, but hasn't had great luck attracting them to Maumelle.