Teachers in the Little Rock School District, the location of one of the most famous desegregation battles in the U.S., went on one-day strike Thursday.
The Arkansas state board of education directly controls the Little Rock School District, and has done so since 2015. State officials justified the takeover through the misuse of the district’s standardized-test scores.
In September officials proposed returning limited local control to the district, but also wanted to reconstitute the district, and divide it in half. Higher-income, predominantly white schools would fall under local control, but lower-income schools in historically black neighborhoods would remain under state control.
Using test scores segregation would return, over half a century after it was supposed to end, to Little Rock.
The community schools, as the state of Arkansas seeks to define them would basically be charter schools.
Teacher union members say they feel they’re also safeguarding the legacy of the civil-rights movement from antagonistic state officials.
Arkansas is the home of the Walton family. The Walmart heirs have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the charter-school movement.
Though Thursday’s strike was for one day, the the Litttle Rock Education Association has not ruled out a longer strike.