Friday, January 30, 2015

The Real Story of LRSD and a glimpse of Public Education Collapsing

The largest school district in the state of Arkansas, the Little Rock School District [LRSD], got taken over by the state for academic distress a few days ago. In layman terms, the school district is unable to perform its duties in these days of dumbed down standardized testing. Two-thirds of the district's 30 elementary schools are scoring in the lowest 25% on math exams. The following schools were deemed to be in academic distress: Baseline Elementary School, Cloverdale Middle School, Henderson Middle School, Hall High School, J.A. Fair High School, McClellan High School. Here is a complete list of the schools within the district. The elementary school and McClellan high school are in the little Mexico area of the city, and most students come from a English as a second language home.

Three of the five LRSD High Schools are in distress [academic distress is when fewer than half of the students attending them scored at proficient levels on achievement tests]. Parkview High School is an Arts and Science Magnet School and attracts the district's best students, while Central High School has two distinct curriculum. The principal of Central High school refers to the non-AP students as "the general population". A term that I associate with prison. The Central High School does offer excellent AP classes, but its like stacking the baseball team with a few ringers to get to the playoffs.

I'll provide the back story for my readers. Pulaski County School District [PCSSD] offered LRSD a chance to combine districts in their early days, and LRSD declined because the tax base wasn't very good for PCSSD. Fast forward many years,and the suburban sprawl takes hold, making the tax base of PCSSD very attractive. The suburban sprawl attracted many affluent white families, ergo LRSD files a desegregation lawsuit in 1982 against the PCSSD and North Little Rock School District [NLRSD]. At this point, the state of Arkansas steps in and infuses huge amounts of money to "fix" the situation. Social engineering. This creates an even greater white flight from the capital city, due to busing, racial tension, and the end of neighborhood schools. The bedroom communities such as Conway, Cabot, Bryant, and Benton explode in growth as a result, and their educational system improves. This creates a positive loop that draws even more families capable of moving, thus leaving the LRSD with the lower socioeconomic classes, usually black. At this point, quality private schools begin to increase in number for the remaining affluent families that can afford to foot the bill for the their children's education. During this time the LRSD goes through numerous superintendents, many lasting only a year or two. I can't find the exact number but 20 in the 25 years seems about right. 

The state has throw money at the school system in an attempt to fix the racial inequality, and it hasn't worked. With desegregation funding running out, the district would soon need to cut $37 million to stay solvent. As Arkansas' Central High School was in the spotlight for segregation, we are again in the spotlight for America's educational system.

Keep Right On Prepping  - K

Thursday, January 29, 2015

In response to PP, this is an Arkansas Swimming Pool

This is a real Arkansas swimming pool located at Pruitt on the Buffalo National River.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Some Days You Wonder About The Human Species

We have a saying at our office about the "special" people that we see everyday. We call them "touched". Some days these people are a little more "touched" than others. Today was one of those days. We have dressing rooms with lockers so that they can lock their most prized and precious trinkets. This happens more than I'd care to admit...

Of course, if it weren't for the warning labels a few of them might not be here today.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Your First Emergency

In helping the community and our church, Sweetheart and I volunteered to co-lead the Dave Ramsey program at our church. Let's face it. People will have a financial emergency before an earthquake, EMP blast, or a super volcano eruption. The more people that are out of debt and have a firmer grip on their budget, then they will be light years ahead of everyone else. The better prepared that our community is, the better it is for our family.

We'll be helping with the 9 week course, and getting back into the program ourselves. We have one credit card that we are hoping to pay off within the next six months. If you are unfamiliar with the program, I've got a link on the top of the page. Check it out, it's what really allowed me to go back to school and get my degree without being saddled with student loans. That and the support of my wonderful wife.

Debt is modern day slavery...except that they don't have to pay for your housing and food.

Keep Right on Prepping - K

Keep Right On Prepping - K