Thomas Ultican/LittleSis
Meet Thomas Ultican, a retired physics and advanced math teacher in San Diego, who’s taken up study and criticism of the school privatization movement. He writes today, in-depth, about the wealthy men and Republican governor who have the Little Rock School District in their crosshairs.

The interlocking interests are familiar to any who read the Arkansas Blog. But Ultican’s is a thorough recitation and he created a graphic to illustrate some of his points. It was a mistake to take over the district, he writes, and it is compounding its mistake in handling a return of the district to voters. His larger conclusion is similar to my own about the  historic central force in the state’s public school policy, not just in Little Rock.

Little Rock is fighting against a long history of white supremacy and racism. January 2020 could be a pivotal time for throwing off the yoke of discrimination. Having children of both financial and racial disparities integrated into the same school is best for all students rich, poor, black, brown or white. Democracy is the path of American governance that made it the world’s leading country and oligarchs opposing that path must be stopped. Will Arkansas embrace the light of locally controlled public education or the darkness of racism and white supremacy?

With LRSD in control of a Republican governor in thrall to big money and Trumplican politics, it’s hard to be optimistic.

PS: Speaking of education reform. People funded by the billionaires have been stiring up the notion that people of color REALLY want charter schools. The New York Times bought it. Many black people, including the NAACP, and a variety of polls take a different view. A new “poll” is being passed around this week to make the same point. It is not a poll at all, but a test of a tilted message, as another important education blogger points out.


Republicans in Arkansas (looking at you Walton homey Jim Dotson) got a charge the other day from a Twitter tirade launched against me for linking to articles critical of the New York Times charter coverage. The tirade came from, coincidentally, a recipient of $2 million in Walton Family Foundation moolah. But as the Twitterer said, I’m just an old white guy.