Little Rock School District

Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR News

After several days of political wrangling over which assessment to use for public schools students in Arkansas, Little Rock School District Superintendent Baker Kurrus declined to weigh in on the debate.

Arkansas Department of Education Building in Little Rock near the state Capitol building.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The Arkansas State Board of Education took a step to divide the Pulaski County Special School District Wednesday.

The board approved an amended version of a report recommending the cities of Sherwood and Maumelle form their own districts.  Western portions of Little Rock would move from the PCSSD to join the Little Rock School District.

PCCSD Superintendent Jerry Guess told board members he thinks the changes will lead to greater inequity in schools.

Superintendent Baker Kurrus sitting at his new desk in the LRSD administration building.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The newly appointed leader of Arkansas' largest school district has launched a weekly column to promote transparency following the resignation of his predecessor amid plagiarism allegations.

The Little Rock School District announced that Superintendent Baker Kurrus wants to speak directly to the community in an "unvarnished" column titled "Straight Talk." In his first update, Kurrus says the district has a lot of organizational weaknesses that can be fixed.

Superintendent Baker Kurrus sitting at his new desk in the LRSD administration building.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Newly appointed Little Rock School District Superintendent Baker Kurrus gave a report to the State Board of Education Thursday on his assessment of problems in the district. 

Kurrus said poor communication, budget issues, and a lack of respect between employees had led to a dysfunctional culture in the district.

Charles Zook, son of Arkansas Chamber of Commerce CEO, opposing chamber's role in LRSD state takeover.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

A smattering of protestors lined the plaza of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce Wednesday at noon to denounce its support of the state takeover of Little Rock schools. Charles Zook said his family embodies what he characterizes as a suspect network of influence in the state’s 5-4 decision in late January to dissolve the locally elected school board.

Former school board member Charlie McAdoo speaking to about 75 people assembled in church in southwest Little Rock opposed to the state's role in the district.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The first 90-plus days of the Arkansas Department of Education’s role as the operator and arbiter of the state’s largest school district – the Little Rock School District – has not engendered a sense of confidence among all. 

Baker Kurris speaking at a meeting of the Arkansas Board of Education several weeks before being appointed Superintendent.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The new superintendent of the Little Rock School District has only been in office for a couple of days but he may already be striking a different chord with at least a few of those critical of the state-run district's first steps to lift six of the district's 40-plus schools out of academic distress. 

Newly-appointed Superintendent Baker Kurrus said during an interview Thursday he is making inclusion in the decision-making process an early priority.

Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

Arkansas Education Commissioner Johnny Key appointed attorney and former Little Rock School Board member Baker Kurrus as superintendent of the Little Rock School District Tuesday.

Kurrus, who replaces Interim Superintendent Marvin Burton, will lead the district for a salary of $150,000. Former Superintendent Suggs made over $200,000.

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