A+ Arkansas shared its message on reforming Arkansas education and schools with hundreds of Arkansans yesterday between several events.
At the Capitol Rotunda, more than 350 parents, students and teachers from around the entire state gathered to hear former Florida Governor Jeb Bush speak on the importance of school choice. “Our children can’t wait for plodding, incremental change. We need disruptive change, we need to invest in new ideas, new approaches in education and that means creating more options for parents, more competition in schools.”
A+ Arkansas then hosted a Legislative Luncheon at the Capital Hotel with over 120 lawmakers (Democrats as well as Republicans) and business leaders who openly discussed plans for shaping education reform policy for Arkansas’ 1,102 schools. According to the Arkansas Department of Education more that 700 of our schools are on the “needs improvement list”.
Simultaneously more than 450 Arkansas parents, desirous of options for quality education, gathered at the DoubleTree Hotel for the A+ Arkansas Education Summit where featured panelists included legislators, educators, administrators, business leaders and parents who engaged attendees on the importance of educational options for struggling students and failing schools.
A+ Arkansas learned this afternoon that the AR Education Association (teachers union), AR School Boards Association and just a handful of legislators held a “counter-rally” today trying to deflect from the message that hundreds of Arkansans sent yesterday petitioning for educational options. Laurie Lee, A+ Arkansas’ spokes person said “It would have been more productive and a little less disingenuous if this group would have joined us yesterday, at our invitation, to sit at the table and have a real discussion about the challenges that face our state. I hope they do not agree with Albert Shanker, former president of the United Federation of Teachers when he said “When schoolchildren start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children.”
For more information on the event visit www.AplusArkansas.org or call 501-258-6353.