In this first episode of Fair Assessment, co-hosts Ali Noland, an attorney and school-board member in Little Rock, and Gwen Faulkenberry, a veteran classroom teacher in rural Arkansas, introduce themselves to listeners, explain their motivation for creating an Arkansas education podcast, and start a discussion about some of the big themes that have emerged in public-education policy and politics recently.

Today, we are bringing you the first part of that discussion, focusing on the coordinated efforts in several states to privatize K-12 education.


Next week, we will bring the second part of the conversation, covering attacks on the teaching profession, efforts to censor the ideas and books that students can access and highlighting the ways public schools serve as the nation’s front line on issues like poverty, hunger, homelessness, trauma, mental and physical health, and so many other systemic societal problems that the state and the federal government have failed to adequately address.

Please send show ideas, guest suggestions, and other input to Ali and Gwen at


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