The Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, a major force in the state takeover of the Little Rock School District four years ago, says it will announce an initiative Friday to help high school education in the four public school districts in Pulaski County.

The chamber will join leaders of the Little Rock, North Little Rock, Pulaski County and North Pulaski districts on Friday to announce a chamber-funded study (amount not yet revealed) on use of Ford Next Generation Learning, a project of Ford Motor Company. A release said the chamber was committed to improving student achievement and better preparing them for college and careers.

To give you some idea of the Ford project, here’s an article from Kansas City about its use there. Students continue to be taught core curriculum, but also choose “academies” within schools that focus on preparation for college or careers. In the high school there:

The academies launching in fall 2019 will be science and industry, business and technology, and public services. Several programs will fall under the umbrella of each.

The science and industry academy will offer agriculture science, construction and architecture, and engineering. Under the public services umbrella is an education pathway, health services, a bio-medical track, and a public services path, including law enforcement and public safety. Business and technology programs will include marketing and management, accounting and finance, and information technology.

A similar description comes from Virginia with academies aimed at meeting needs of business. And, yes, the idea has drawn some questioners, such as here.

Here’s Ford’s own website for the project.

Let’s hope the program is more productive than state control of the Little Rock School District has proven. To date, the Chamber has been silent on return of voter control to the Little Rock School District.