Questions for Michael Poore | Arkansas Blog

Questions for Michael Poore


MICHAEL POORE: We have questions.
  • MICHAEL POORE: We have questions.
Michael Poore, who'll take over soon as Little Rock school superintendent by appointment of Education Commissioner Johnny Key, has many questions to answer that weren't asked in his one media interview so far, with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

For example:

* Does he think charter schools have harmed the Little Rock School District?

* Would he have had questions about the eStem and LISA expansions, as Baker Kurrus did?

* Will he continue a contract with the teachers union?

* Did he read the news release announcing his resignation at Bentonville in which his spokesman said, emphasis supplied: 

“He is accepting the challenge to lead a district that is in need of strong, disciplined leadership” 
Doesn't this suggest LRSD did NOT have strong disciplined leadership?

Could discipline be a reference to Kurrus'  charter school opposition contrary to Johnny Key's wishes? Has he talked to Key about charter schools?

* He has announced he has a plan for Little Rock without having yet engaged any member of the Little Rock school community. Is that good planning? Thanks to Antwan Phillips, a Little Rock lawyer who spoke at Saturday's rally, for raising this question.

* Will he rule out turning over management of individual schools to private management companies?

* How quickly does he plan to get the school board answerable to the people again?

* Why did members of the Bentonville School Board want to fire him in 2014?

* Why did he oppose a non-discrimination policy for the Bentonville School District?

* Does he support the Little Rock School District's non-discrimination policy that extends protection based on sexual orientation and gender identity? Would he ask Key to change it? Has Key asked him to change it?

* Would he allow an employee to discriminate on the basis of religious preference on account of someone's sexual orientation or gender identity — student or employee?

* What's his relationship with Walton Family Foundation officials, Walton heirs, Walton lobbyists and Walton-paid leaders of other schools groups — for example, Arkansas Learns and the Arkansas Public School Research Center — that work to advance the Walton school agenda.

* How does he feel about the school choice law backed by Key and the Waltons that removed restrictions on inter district student transfers? What about evidence that transfers have encouraged resegregation in some districts.

* Does he support school vouchers — public money for students to attend private schools. Arkansas is beginning a small voucher program for special needs students.

That's a start. I expect I'm a few miles down the list of Poore's planned phone calls — if I'm on the list at all — but if anyone else should see him, there's some material.

Please send your suggestions. 

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