Arkansas

Keeping Kids in Class: Arkansas Ally Releases In-Depth Analysis of School Discipline

Black students in Arkansas schools are more likely to be suspended and receive corporal punishment than their white counterparts, according to this comprehensive state-level analysis from Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF), a member of the AR OTL Campaign. School disciplinary policies that disproportionately keep students of color out of school reduce their opportunities to learn and increase gaps in educational achievement. As this report shows, Arkansas schools rely far too often on disciplinary approaches that bar students from the classroom.

Black students in Arkansas schools are more likely to be suspended and receive corporal punishment than their White counterparts, according to a new report from Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF), a member of the AR OTL Campaign.

An Arkansas Student Bill of Rights

Students and teachers shouldn't be held accountable to high-stakes test scores and grades unless they have the resources they need meet those standards. "An Arkansas Student Bill of Rights" calls for the state government to be held accountable for providing all students with the resources and opportunities they need to succeed. 

Accountability should go both ways. Students and teachers shouldn't be held accountable to high-stakes test scores and grades unless they have the resources they need meet those standards. Which means that state governments should be held to account for providing high-quality resources and opportunities for all children, regardless of where they live. 

Lost Opportunity 50 State Report

Publication Date: 
Wed, 2009-09-23
Type: 
reports

In Lost Opportunity: A 50 State Report on the Opportunity to Learn in America, the Schott Foundation for Public Education establishes a metric for determining the opportunity to learn for students. Providing a state-by-state comparison of both academic proficiency (percentage of students scoring at or above proficient on the eighth grade NAEP reading exam) and equity (as measured by the Schott Foundation’s Opportunity to Learn Index, or OTLI), Lost Opportunity identifies the four baseline minimum resources that are necessary for a child – regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status – to have a fair and substantive Opportunity to Learn.

In the United States, every student should have the equal right to a high-quality education.  But as our most recent data demonstrates, for far too many students, quality and equity are aspirations, not realities.  Few states are providing public school educations that result in academic proficiency for students.  And even fewer states are providing access to a high-quality education to all students, particularly those from historically disadvantaged groups.

Across the country, we're working with our grantees for educational justice

The Schott Foundation has been having an exciting few weeks of travelling around the country to share ideas, meet allied organizations, and see the work and future planes of our grantees highlighted in a variety of forums and conferences. It’s been great to see innovative and important conversations happening, and we’re glad to share with you some of the highlights!

Why Arkansas?

by Cassie Schwerner, Senior Vice President of National Partnerships and Ellen Meltzer, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives

Why Arkansas? Four years ago, in February 2012, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (WRF) first posed that invitation as a question to fellow funders from across the country. In response, WRF hosted a statewide tour demonstrating to participants Arkansas’ readiness for education reform and investment.

The tour moved funders and advocates, including the Schott Foundation for Pubic Education, to create a full-fledged campaign. Initiated in 2012, the Arkansas Opportunity to Learn (AR OTL) Campaign unites disparate and distinct education advocacy organizations and grassroots groups. They all share a common goal: achieving education policy reforms that benefit all Arkansas students.

Bill Kopsky, Executive Director of the Arkansas Public Policy Panel, speaks to assembled participants.

Why Arkansas? Four years ago, in February 2012, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (WRF) first posed that invitation as a question to fellow funders from across the country. In response, WRF hosted a statewide tour demonstrating to participants Arkansas’ readiness for education reform and investment.

State: 

Is school funding fair? For too many students, the answer is still no.

Since 2010, the Education Law Center has published national report cards on how states are (or aren't) investing in their schools and students. "Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card" released Wednesday, paints a worrying picture. In most states, ELC has found that public funding for schools is both unfair and inequitable: that is, not only are schools not receiving the funds they need, the schools that need funding the most are the ones with the most dramatic shortfalls.

AR Organizer Writes Powerful Op-Ed on Charleston

In a powerful op-ed, Bill Kopsky, Executive Director of the Arkansas Public Policy Panel, reflects on the shooting in Charleston, SC, the history of racism in this state, and the work yet to be done to end discrimination in communities across the nation.

In a powerful op-ed for the Arkansas Times Bill Kopsky, Executive Director of the Arkansas Public Policy Panel, reflects on the shooting in Charleston, SC, the history of racism in his state, and the work yet to be done to end discrimination in communities across the nation. 

How a Grassroots Organization Grows in Power

One of the amazing things about grassroots organizations is how they develop—from genuine community upswell and shared interest in important ideas and values to, hopefully, a political force of empowered citizens. Bill Kopsky, the head of the Arkansas Public Policy Panel, talks in a short video about the history of his organization and its own development.

Services in community schools
Bill Kopsky, via the APPP

Arkansas School Privatization Bill Withdrawn

A rally at the Arkansas capitol building turned into an impromptu victory party as organizers and supporters received word that the bill they were protesting, House Bill 1733 had been withdrawn from consideration in the legislative session. The bill would have transferred control of struggling districts to private organizations and left these districts and the communities they serve without a voice in school reform efforts. 

A rally at the Arkansas capitol building turned into an impromptu victory party as organizers and supporters received word that the bill they were protesting, House Bill 1733 (HB1733) had been withdrawn from consideration in the legislative session. HB1733 would have transferred control of struggling districts to private organizations and left these districts and the communities they serve without a voice in school reform efforts. Yet while this win for public education is certainly cause for happiness, the bill's defeat does not mean th

How Arkansas' Commitment to Fair School Funding Has Helped Students

Following the landmark Lake View court case in Arkansas over a decade ago, the state has made huge strides in equalizing school funding and trying to give all students access to a great public education – but there's still room for improvement.

Following the landmark Lake View court case in Arkansas over a decade ago, the state has made huge strides in equalizing school funding and trying to give all students access to a great public education.

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