Thursday, February 5, 2015

Travel Broadens the Mind, But . . .

The Arkansas Board of Education voted last week to take over the Little Rock School District because six of its schools are "in distress" (the measurements of which are a little fluky). As you may know, Little Rock schools have been on double secret probation for years now, for various reasons, even though it has good test scores overall, and numerous National Merit Finalists. I'm not exactly in favor of this plan -- it appears to be simply a different set of bureaucrats that just swooshed in and disenfranchised Little Rock voters who just seated a new school board last fall. The Superintendent will be retained and there has been no plan announced to address the distressed schools' issues.

A local (satirical) website, The Rock City Times (subtitled "Arkansas' 2d most unreliable news source"), however, announced a plan earlier this week. Let's see if it will copy and paste:

Little Rock to Begin Bussing Students to Northwest Arkansas Following School Board Takeover

Following yesterday’s State Board of Education’s decision to takeover the Little Rock School District, the board now says that beginning in fall students will be bussed from Little Rock to various higher performing schools around Northwest Arkansas.
The Board of Education’s 5-4 decision came after six of the district’s schools were labeled “academically distressed”.  The move to Northwest Arkansas would introduce Little Rock’s 25,000 students to some of the highest performing schools in the state.
“The problem is these schools are underperforming and students are not receiving the quality education that they deserve,” School board spokesperson Roger Waters tells us. “We certainly could fire all the teachers, pump millions of dollars into education for Little Rock, but we feel that would be too dramatic and a possible waste of resources. Especially when we have one of the country’s top performing education regions a little over three hours away.”
Under the plan students would be bussed daily from Little Rock to a selection of schools across Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers, Springdale, and Siloam Springs. Parents will be required to have their children ready for bus pickup at 4 a.m. each morning so that students will arrive by the 8:00 start time. Students are expected to return home by 7:30 each night. Tutoring will be available free of charge during the afternoon commutes.
Most of the existing Little Rock School buildings will be converted into satellite campuses for the upcoming technology park. Meanwhile Central High School is expected to change to a Robert E Lee museum and Forest Park elementary will be the new home of a food truck culinary school.
The board says that it does plan to retain former LRSD superintendent Dexter Suggs along with various faculty members from Little Rock Schools.
“Due to the dramatic increase in bus drivers needed, we have extended driving positions to Dr. Suggs and other principals and faculty at high performing schools,” Waters says. “We believe it represents a unique opportunity for all involved to help grant kids the advanced kids the advanced education opportunities we blindly think they deserve.”
In addition to the schools opening their doors to Little Rock students, the Duggar family has offered to expand their home schooling to accommodate 200 homosexual curious children in need of re-indoctrination.
The Duggars.  Heh.
And the misspellings of "busing" and "bused" make me grit my teeth, but all-in-all this is pretty clever. Unfortunately, I can't rule out something as improbable as this coming from the State. 
Poor kids.

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