Arkansas Education

Blowing Cave

Arkansas State University says three students, including two from Japan, are missing in a cave in northern Arkansas.

A university statement says the wife of 25-year-old student Casey Sherwood reported him missing Wednesday night, along with Japanese exchange students, 19-year-old Daiki Itoh and 18-year-old Daisuke Takagi.

Independence County Office of Emergency Management coordinator Glen Willis told KAIT-TV that two crews are searching for the students in Blowing Cave in Cushman, 110 miles north of Little Rock. Cave-mapping experts are assisting.

Lucinda Schreiber for NPR

Arkansas state Sen. Joyce Elliot (D-Little Rock) spoke before a national group of state legislators Tuesday on how to improve education in the United States.

The National Council of State Legislators conducted a study entitled, No Time to Lose: How to Build a World Class Education System State by State, which found that education in the U.S. lags behind at least 30 other countries worldwide. 

Speaking in Chicago, Elliot said policies in those countries are data driven and less subject to political whim.

Jacksonville High School

The Jacksonville North Pulaski School District is getting ready to open its doors to students for the first time.

In September 2014 nearly 95 percent of voters in the Jacksonville area supported creating their own district by detaching from the larger Pulaski County Special School District. It has taken nearly two years to staff the district and make preparations, such as planning bus routes and student schedules.

Arkansas State University officials say the school still plans to open its Mexico campus in 2017 despite the resignation of its former chancellor, who was overseeing the project.

The Jonesboro Sun reports that work on the campus in Queretaro, Mexico, won't be delayed after Tim Hudson resigned last week.

Hudson resigned after an audit report criticized the school's study abroad program that was run by his wife, who resigned last month.

Tim Hudson
Arkansas State University

A second audit report concerning former Arkansas State University Chancellor Tim Hudson says Hudson may have violated state law in his efforts to get tuition assistance for an unidentified family member.

The audit released Thursday said the law prohibits a public servant from using his official position to gain special privileges for himself, family members or anyone with whom the official has a "substantial financial relationship."

Hudson resigned Tuesday after the first audit report criticized ASU's study abroad program that was run by his wife.

Tim Hudson
Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University Chancellor Tim Hudson has abruptly resigned three weeks before the start of the fall semester. It comes days after details of an internal audit were published, finding problems with the school's study abroad program which was headed by Hudson's wife.

The university did not cite a reason for the resignation, but an ASU official says it followed a meeting Tuesday evening between Hudson and ASU System President Charles Welch.

In an email sent at 9:56 p.m. Tuesday, Hudson wrote simply:

education schools

A New York securities and class action law firm has proposed a $300 million settlement with Wall Street financial service giant State Street Corp. on behalf of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, the lead plaintiff in a federal case going back more than five years.

An Arkansas panel has recommended tying higher education funding to factors such as degree completion, a move that supporters say will help make the case that the state's colleges and universities need more money.

The Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board on Friday adopted the framework for a new "outcome-based" funding plan for the state's colleges and universities. Currently, most of the state's higher education funding formula is tied to student enrollment.

Arkansas Democratic Party Twitter Account

Former President and Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton spent considerable time Tuesday night describing his wife’s efforts to advance child healthcare and education during her time as first lady of the state. Clinton gave the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, telling the story of the pair’s courtship and eventual involvement in Arkansas politics.

Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

The Islamic Center of Little Rock is hoping to counter negative stereotypes with a billboard campaign comparing a Muslim woman in a hijab, or headscarf, to Virgin Mary in a veil.

KUAR spoke to the mosque’s vice president, Alaa Eldamaty , who says the goal is to encourage questions. 

"You might be scared of Islam because of all of the media or all of the horrific attacks happening around the world in the name of Islam," said Eldamaty. "But really, Islam is a religion of peace," she explained.