Arkansas Education

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Social media giant Facebook is bringing new technology into Arkansas high schools in order to get students to learn how to code in virtual reality.

Little Rock Central High Students and faculty gathered in the school’s auditorium Thursday to hear from a handful of speakers who talked about the “Arkansas and Facebook Techstart Partnership. In this program, Facebook is delivering 500 virtual reality kits to computer coding classrooms at most of the state’s high schools.

Chris Hickey / KUAR News.

Leaders of two Arkansas community colleges and Henderson State University on Wednesday announced a partnership intended to increase the number of students completing degrees. 

UAPB
toursbyjoshwhitehead.blogspot.com

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff has signed a $19.3 million deal with a construction firm to design and complete the state’s first energy conservation project to meet a 2009 legislative dictate to reduce energy costs on Arkansas college campuses by 30%.

Indianapolis, Ind.-based Performance Services, which has similar projects at secondary schools and colleges across the U.S., has been contracted to do the work at UAPB through the Arkansas Energy Performance Contracting (AEPC) Program, which is part of the state’s Arkansas Energy Office.

A state-by-state study of Head Start programs shows Arkansas keeping up with national averages in per-child funding levels and hours of classroom time, but the state lags in pay and education levels for teachers. The National Institute for Early Education Research released the findings Wednesday.

Steve Barnett, the institute’s director and a professor at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, says in order to improve the reach and effectiveness of early childhood education, Arkansas should find more ways to partner with the federal Head Start program.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is announcing its latest plan in a strategy it hopes will combat affordability and accessibility issues in higher education.

Students in the Little Rock School District who are members of the high school classes of 2017 through 2020 would sign a non-binding agreement guaranteeing a spot at the University. The arrangement would provide access to UALR advisers who help with the admission and financial aid process.

The announcement is similar to earlier agreements UALR established with the Pulaski and Jacksonville school districts.

Ted Bonner
KATV, Channel 7 News

The Arkansas NAACP and several residents are calling for the resignation of a school board member in eastern Arkansas after photos surfaced of him in blackface while holding a sign referring to the Black Lives Matter movement.

NAACP members and others demanded Ted Bonner's resignation Monday during a Blevins School Board meeting. But the board's president, Justice West, says there's no mechanism for removing Bonner, who has refused to resign. Bonner has two years left in his term.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) and Microsoft Vice President of Governmental Affairs Fred Humphries sign a memorandum of understanding (left to right).
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The state of Arkansas and Microsoft signed a memorandum of understanding on Monday to further the instruction of computer science in schools. Under the agreement Microsoft, with no cost to the state, would help with professional development for computer science teachers in addition to hosting a range of workshops and events for students.

Governor Asa Hutchinson
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Gov. Asa Hutchinson says students hoping to learn a high-demand trade at a community or technical college can be offered full tuition and fee coverage from the state under a new proposal.

Hutchinson announced his intent to create the Arkansas Future, or ArFuture, grant at a press conference on various education-related proposals Thursday.

State Sen. Alan Clark (R-Lonsdale).
You Tube

State Senator Alan Clark (R-Lonsdale) filed a bill today to give additional scholarship support to college juniors and seniors who agree to teach for five consecutive years in a "high needs subject area." Clark is on the eight member Senate Education Committee.

Davida Walls never thought she would be teaching high school biology, let alone in the first few months after graduating from college at 22.

“Teaching was not my initial goal. It was kind of an opportunity that just, you know, became available so I took it.”

She is trying to decide whether to become a doctor or a nurse, and plans to apply for a program to train for one or the other this year.

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