Arkansas Media

Governor’s Conference Shocker: Education Important

Gov. Mike Beebe and wife Ginger
Gov. Mike Beebe and wife Ginger

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports on the “Governor’s Summit on Education and Economic Development” held in Little Rock yesterday, and based on this and other published reports, it’s just hard to know why they bother to host these conferences all the time. Unless you’re interested in hearing Gov. Mike Beebe assert yet again that “education and economic development are inextricably linked,” there’s little new insight to be gained here.

I actually feel pretty sorry for the reporters who have to go cover these things and pretend like they’re covering new news. I’m also pretty sure that the ADG headline writers (“Preparing future work force for global economy seen key”) are just cutting and pasting headlines from the last economic development conference the paper covered. I’m on to you, headline writers.

Noted: An Arkansas Project correspondent dropped an e-mail  that Sen. Bob Johnson, Arkansas Senate majority leader, was speaking at a conference panel Wednesday and blasted the increase to the state severance task passed in the special legislative session in the spring. Johnson expressed regret that he did not do more to fight it.

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3 thoughts on “Governor’s Conference Shocker: Education Important

  • Ashley Higgins

    I am overwhelmed by a feeling of ineffable sadness when I read articles like the above post and the link to the Cynthia Powell story.

    First, there is the incessant repetition of the word “rigorous.” Hey, you members of the “educated” classes, the word does not mean tough or hard, it means stiff and inflexible, as in a dead body that has attained a state of rigor mortis.

    Second, it is the redefining of education to mean the training of young people to make suitable future employees. It is the perception that students are a mere resource of the state, much like, for example, natural gas, which can be taxed in the ground, at severance and later at sale. “If we don’t have an educated middle class, then we probably won’t have a middle class.” Thomas F. “Mack” McLarty III. Ah, that’s the deal: The children of Arkansas must be trained to become suitable employees so the state will have a substantial tax base, including their middle-class incomes and the incomes of the businesses for which they labor.

    But mainly it is the apparently general acceptance that the people reported about in the Howell story are actually talking good sense.

  • David Kinkade

    Duly noted, Ashley. You might add to that how depressing it is that these guys have all been mouthing these same platitudes since, what, the 80s, with precious little to show for it….

  • Traditional, monopolisitc, k-12 public education is beyond repair. It is a socialist delivery system which has been thoroughly discredited by its performance. Competition through school choice is simply the answer.

    Public higher education in Arkansas, even with its redundant degree programs, tenure, and taxpayer funded lobbyists still has a better performance record than k-12 due to competition from private colleges. However, it is still grossly mismanaged and not likely to be repaired by those who think they know what the jobs of tomorrow will be.


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