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Under State's Leadership, 'Re-Segregation' Reversed in Little Rock School District

Posted By Arkansas Learns, Saturday, September 23, 2017
Updated: Thursday, November 2, 2017

In the Saturday, September 23, 2017 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Rita Sklar of the Arkansas ACLU, repeated what has become a constant talking point of those opposed to both charter schools and the State's intervention in the Little Rock School District.

"Here in Little Rock, the process of re-segregating our classrooms has accelerated since the state takeover of the Little Rock School District in 2015, and new state-initiated and authorized charter schools are being created at a breakneck pace and with a fervor that is obscene."

And yet, no evidence is ever provided regarding the district's "re-segregation" since State control nor the charters' alleged role as accomplices. In fact, the district's decade-long, locally-controlled history of "re-segregation" is conveniently ignored.

The reason no evidence is ever provided is because none exists. In fact, the truth is just the opposite of the status quo's re-segregation fabrication.

Here are the demographic data for the district since the advent of the first charter school in 2004.

  2 or More
Races 
Asian  Black  Hispanic  Native American/
Alaskan 
Native Hawaiian/
Pacific Islander 
White  Total  Total
Black/White
Enrollment
 
Black/White
Enrollment Gap
 
2004-05*  NA  430   16,738  1,226  62  NA  5,968  24,424  22,706  10,770
(74%/26%)
2005-06  NA  399  17,173  1,343  69  NA  6,111  25,095  23,284  11,062
(74%/26%)
2006-07  NA  412  17,432  1,553  76  NA  6,027  25,550  23,459  11,405
(74%/26%)
2007-08  NA  436  17,715  1,733  81  NA  5,773  25,738  23,488  11,942
(75%/25%)
2008-09**  NA  432  16,936  1,865  73  NA  5,354  24,660  22,290  11,582
(76%/24%)
2009-10  NA  450  16,574  1,927  76  NA  5,363  24,380  21,937  11,211
(76%/24%)
2010-11  126  509  16,245  2,174  83  2  5,087  24,226  21,332  11,158
(76%/24%)
2011-12  177  534  16,114  2,322  75  8  4,819  24,049  20,933  11,295
(77%/23%)
2012-13  199  523  15,708  2,540  69  6  4,549  23,594  20,257  11,159
(78%/22%)
2013-14  227  579  15,689  2,728  64  9  4,380  23,676  20,069  11,309
(78%/22%)
2014-15  271  557  15,371  2,925  65  10  4,164  23,363  19,535  11,207
(79%/21%)
2015-16***  272  567  15,070  3,124  55  11  4,065  23,164  19,135  11,005
(79%/21%)
2016-17  285  563  14,603  3,183  57  14  4,054  22,759  18,657  10,549
(78.3%/21.7%)
2017-18  318  595  14,040  3,350  54  10  3,971  22,338  18,011

 10,069
(78%/22%)

TOTAL
LOSS/GAIN
 318
 +165
(+38%)
 -2,698
(-16%)
 +2,124
(+173%)
 -8
(-13%)
 14  -1,997
(-33%)
 -2,086
(-8.5%)
 -4,695
(-21%)
 -701
(+4%/-4%)
BEFORE STATE
CONTROL
LOSS/GAIN

 +271  +127
(+30%)
 -1,367
(-8%)
 +1,699
(+139%)
 +3
(+1%)
 +10  -1,804
(-30%)
 -1,061
(-4%)
 -3,171
(-14%)
 +437
(+5%/-5%)
STATE CONTROL
LOSS/GAIN

 +47
(+17%)
 +38
(+6.8%)
 -1,331
(-8.7%)
 +425
(+14.5%)
 -11
(-17%)
 +0
(+/-0%)
 -193
(-4.6%)
 -1,025
(-4.4%)
 -1,524
(-7.8%)
 -1,138
(-1%/+1%)

* First Year of Charter
** First Year of African-American Majority Board
*** First Year of State Takeover

 

Meanwhile, at the charters...

District/School 2 or More
Races 
Asian  Black  Hispanic  Native American/
Alaskan 
Native Hawaiian/
Pacific Islander 
White  Total
LRSD   318
(1%)
 595
(3%)
 14,040
(63%)
 3,350
(15%)
 54
(.2%)
 10
(.04%)
 3,971
(18%)
 22,338
All Little Rock
Charters*
 133
(3%)
 215
(5%)
 2,501
(53%)
 804
(17%)
 16
(.3%)
 3
(.1%)
 1,024
(22%)
 4,696
eStem  81  45  1,049  147  6  2  638  1,968
LISA Academy Chenal  15  59  274  152  4  0  82  586
LISA Academy 7-8  14  68  148  72  0  0  53  355
LISA Academy High  10  28  193  80  0  0  88  399
Little Rock Prep  0  0  186  24  0  0  3  213
Exalt  2  0  160  204  0  0  9  375
Premier  0  0  108  2  0  0  4  114
SIA Tech  0  1  166  12  0  0  9  188
Covenant Keepers  2  0  48  90  0  0  1  141
Quest  1  14  53  12  2  1  105  188
Rockbridge  8  0  116  9  4  0  32  169

 * The recently approved open-enrollment public charters - ScholarMade (2018), Einstein (2018) and Friendship (2019) will open at 2410 South Battery, 3615 West 25th Street and Southwest Little Rock, respectively.

 

Here are the facts:

  • LRSD lost 2,698 African-American students since first charter in 2004
  • LRSD lost 1,997 White students since first charter in 2004
  • Little Rock open-enrollment public charters gained 2,501 African-American students since beginning
  • Little Rock open-enrollment public charters gained 1,024 White students since beginning
  • LRSD lost 1,367 African-American students (-8%) between first charter and State intervention
  • LRSD lost 1,804 White students (-30%) between first charter and State intervention
  • LRSD lost 1,331 African-American students (-8.7%) since State intervention in 2015
  • LRSD lost 193 White students (-4.6%) since State intervention in 2015
  • West Little Rock's LISA Academy, which was vigorously opposed on grounds of "re-segregation," has 586 students - 82 (14%) White, 4 points less than the LRSD's White enrollment.

Past Thirteen Years - From First Charter to Present (2004 - 2017)

  • African-American students and families are choosing charters at a rate 2.44 times that of White students and families.
  • African-American enrollment in LRSD has decreased every year since 2008, which was also the first school year of a majority African-American school board.
  • White enrollment in LRSD has decreased every year since 2005, three years before the first majority African-American school board.
  • The largest one-year drop in African-American enrollment in LRSD was -779 between 2007-08 and 2008-09, the year of the first majority African-American board. That was also the largest one-year drop in White enrollment (-419).
  • The three smallest annual drops in White enrollment in LRSD were the three years of State intervention, -99 in 2015-16, and -11 in 2016-17, and -83 in 2017-18.
  • Hispanic and Other (Asian, Native American/Alaskan, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander) enrollment (4,009) now exceed White enrollment (3,971).
  • The growing demographics in the LRSD are Hispanic (+173%), 2 or More Races (+152%), and Asian (+38%).
  • The declining demographics in the LRSD are African-American (-2,698/-16%) and White enrollment (-1,997/-33%).

Before State Intervention (2004 - 2015)

  • Prior to State intervention, LRSD lost White students at a rate 1.32 higher than that of African-American students.
  • Prior to State intervention, the district averaged losing 180 White students a year.
  • In the ten years before State intervention, the enrollment gap between African-American and White students increased from 10,770 to 11,207 (74%/26% to 79/21%).

After State Intervention (2015 - 2017)

  • After State intervention, LRSD lost African-American students at a rate nearly seven times higher than that of White students.
  • After State intervention, the district averaged losing 64 White students a year.
  • In the three years of State intervention, the African-American and White enrollment gap decreased 1,138 students (-1%/+1%)
  • In 2016-17 (Superintendent Mike Poore's first year), for the first time in thirteen years, both the total number and percentage enrollment gap between African-American and White students decreased (-456, -1%/+1%)
  • In 2017-18 (Superintendent Mike Poore's second year), the district had the lowest total number enrollment gap between African-American and White students (10,069). The previous low was 10,770 in 2004-05.

It would behoove those who value their credibility, and the journalists who quote them, to check the facts before simply parroting the party line.

We welcome correction of any inaccuracies.

Source: https://adedata.arkansas.gov/statewide/Districts/EnrollmentByRace.aspx

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