A few weeks before the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School, we had the opportunity to sit down and listen to Elizabeth Eckford share insight about her experiences in 1957, and how far she thinks we've truly come since then.
As we reflect on progress today, we are sadly reminded that the Little Rock School District currently does not have an elected representative school board. Alternatively, the acting school board is the Commissioner of the Arkansas Department of Education, Johnny Key, who was appointed by Governor Asa Hutchinson. In 1957, Democratic Governor Orval Faubus controlled the Little Rock School District. In 2017, sixty years since the Crisis at Little Rock Central, Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson and Commissioner Johnny Key control the Little Rock School District, the largest school district in the state and majority African American.
We must never be fooled by the word "progress." Instead we should hold it to the highest standards of accountability, context, perspective, and scrutiny. Moving forward, our aims and goals are clear: to immediately return local control to the people and community of the Little Rock School District; to hold leaders accountable at every turn; to oppose state controlled school districts, school closures, and the expansion of privately owned charter schools that compete for public school dollars; and to create a world-class school district.
Sixty years later, there is still work to be done and we are still fighting.
To learn more about our series of events commemorating the legacy of the Little Rock Nine, on Friday, September 22-Sunday, September 24:
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org