Arkansas Legislature

Stuff from Around Arkansas, January 20 (Updated!)

Net sensation Obama Girl: Seriously, how many electoral votes was she worth?

In With the New: It’s Inauguration Day, which means everyone’s going to be tripping over one another to mark the historic occasion with the most portentous and pompous commentary imaginable. Skip all that and just go read Blake’s Think Tank, where Blake Rutherford’s blogging up a storm from the chilly scene in Washington, D.C., with photos and everything. Update: OK, Blake sucks and he’s not updating, so go read this instead(Blake’s Think Tank)

Number One with a Bullet: Blogger Jason Tolbert, concerned that everyone doesn’t think he’s a huge enough dork, compiles a list of his top ten favoritest bills of the Arkansas legislative session so far. Apparently, this will be a weekly feature. Yeah, I’m just gonna let that one sink in a little. (The Tolbert Report)

Home Proud: Lawmaker seeks restrictions on home schooling, and will almost certainly regret it after he sees the tsunami response it will likely spark from the home school crowd. Those guys are hard core. (Arkansas News Bureau)

Smoke Shop: Tobacco merchant says higher cigarette taxes will create a black market for smokes. Sounds like someone’s been looking at my business plan. (AP)

Kids Stuff: The Arkansas Times prepares to launch what looks to be the most chilling and terrifying publication in the history of Western civilization. (The Horror. The Horror.)

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10 thoughts on “Stuff from Around Arkansas, January 20 (Updated!)

  • Bill from Sheridan

    I’m no fan of home schooling. I’ve never met a kid that was home schooled that didn’t have serious social acceptance problems; but I think this bill is a terrible idea. Why should some superintendent have power over how someone choses to raise their children? Plus when was the last time you talked to a Superintendent that didn’t have huge social acceptance problems?

  • Man. After all this talk of AR bloggers covering the events, I sure haven’t seen much.

    I bet cell service is about like it is after one of them Fait’vul games.

  • David Kinkade

    Yes, Br549, I fear our much-ballyhooed inaugural blogging corps let us down when it counted the most. I guess I’ll have to post more Obama Girl photos to pick up the slack. Thanks a lot, losers….

  • Michaelk

    Bill from Sheridan needs to get out more. The “socialization issue” is a fantasy, probably started by NEA members (ok, I made that up, but I’m suspicious). Home schooled children consistently out perform students trapped in public education. His ancedotal exposures to a couple of home school students notwithstanding, home schooling works for a lot of people, but not everybody. Yet it far outperforms most public school systems.

  • Bill from Sheridan

    Michaelk, I can assure you that I’ve had more experience around home school kids than almost anyone you will meet. Almost anyone who isn’t a home school parent will tell you that home schooling retards social development. I don’t have a problem with people who want to home school their kids, but I don’t think it is this great step forward for our kids either.

    Also, saying that home schooled children score better on standardized tests than public school children do isn’t comparing apples to apples. If you took matching demographic samples of home schooled children and public school children I bet you’d see that they match up almost perfectly.

  • michaelk

    I too have quite a bit of experience with home school children, and the home school networks are pretty huge. Here in my state we do have matching demographic samples as they all have to take the same standardized tests at certain grade levels – and home schoolers score at the top routinely. Multiple studies support home school students. I understand you have had a negative experience somewhere but the data doesn’t support your position, and I’m sorry, but the public school systems are inferior to most home school programs. We will just have to agree to disagree.

  • Bill from Sheridan

    I don’t think you really understand what a demographic match is. There isn’t a state in the Union where home school kids demographically match public school kids. In Arkansas African-American children make up 20% of the public school population. African American students never score as well on standardized tests as white students do. Because home school children are 99.9% white. they score much better on standardized tests that colored students do.

  • Cameron Bluff

    Did you really say these children perform better because they are white? It would seem that being white affords many, but not all, of them different opportunities because of their home situations, but simply being white isn’t a indidcator of performing better on a standardized test.

    A home-schooled student, especially one coming from a motivated TWO PARENT family, has built in benefits that government takes away from public schools. A home-schooled student rarely is held back by lower performing students; a home-schooled student rarely lacks individual focus by the teacher – unless you are a Dugger, most home-schooled students have pretty small class sizes; a home-schooled student, for the most part, faces pretty strict discipline during the class period, often discipline a teacher in a public school is not afforded the opportunity to apply; a home-schooled student most often can’t get away with saying there is no homework or surprising parents at parent/teacher conferences with poor performance, well after the fact of the performance.

    Simply put, home-schooled students benefit from hands-on education to an extent unavailable and unfeasible in public schools today. There lies your benefit to white students versus black students. Most African-American students can’t be home-schooled because a larger percentage of their population unfortunately hail from single parent homes, thus rendering the home-school option pretty much null and void.

    Being white is not a guarantee to success on standardized testing. Home-school students do not perform better because they are 99.9% white. White students over all do better because of their circumstances, most of which are available to the majority of white children only.

    At the same time, Hispanic performance in this state (public schools) is showing dramatic improvement. I suspect if their poor families could afford home-schooling and had the backgrounds to teach home-schooling, we would see similar good performances on standardized testing with this demographic.

    The key to both of the good performance ratings is family support, family involvement, family motivation. How many Hispanic families have you seen who are single parent households?

  • Bill from Sheridan

    Cameron Bluff,

    I didn’t say anything about why black children score lower on tests than white children. I just stated the fact that they do. The reasons they score lower is probably too deep for a blog post. That said, you can’t do a comparison between home schooling children’s test scores and public school children’s test scores until you get comparative demographic samples.

  • In a lighter response, “Savvy Kids” deserves every wedgie and that swirly that comes to them.

    Also for the record, Private schools usually good, public schools usually bad, and home-schooling is a good concept often ruined by wing-nuts.

    Also, also, also, (and also) black market cigs in Iraq can cost as little as 50 cents per pack. Contact your local deployed guardsman. Be advised, you will get what you pay for.


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