LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – This week marks three years since the Arkansas State Board of Education took control of the Little Rock School District.
A number of things have happened since the takeover for academic distress, and there’s still more progress to be made.
With a 5-4 vote on Jan. 28, 2015, the State Board of Education voted to takeover the Little Rock School District.
That means the State Board and the Education Commissioner make the decisions for the district.
Since 2015, there have been a number of protests from students to community groups wanting to get a local district back.
Michael Poore became the district’s superintendent about a year and a half ago.
“It seems like there has been so much that has gone on and there is still so much more work to do,” Poore said.
Three of the schools on the academic distress list have since been taken off. J.A. Fair High School, McClellan High School, and Baseline Elementary. But, three are still on.
Poore says the district is focusing on a number of schools so they don’t fall behind.
“We saw gains in our academic results last year, but our reading scores were minimal in gains. We could do a whole lot better,” Poore said.
Jim Ross was on the school board when it was dissolved. He says in the last three years he hasn’t seen much change.
“I don’t see any real progress under these folks,” Ross said.
He says he has concerns about other schools moving into the Capital City.
“Three years ago we said the state takeover was about charter school expansion into Little Rock, and we were right,” Ross said.
Ultimately, the State Board will decide the fate of LRSD. Poore says until that happens, he’s working towards that goal.
“It’s the number one target for me coming into the district to get local control back,” Poore said.
The other schools left on the academic distress list are Hall, Henderson, and Cloverdale.
We did reach out to Education Commissioner Johnny Key for comment but have not yet heard back.