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The Arkansas Green Party nominated candidates for all four U.S. House races in Little Rock today, including two candidates who have run multiple races. Meanwhile, Fred Smith, the former Harlem Globetrotter whose attempt to run as a Democrat was voided by a judge’s ruling in April, will run for House District 50 as a Green. The following candidates are running for the U.S. House: First District – Jacob Holloway, a 24-year-old ASU student Second District – Barbara Ward of Little Rock, who works at the Historic Arkansas Museum Third District - Rebekah Kennedy, an attorney from Fort Smith. Kennedy ran unsuccessfully for attorney general in 2006; for U.S. Senate in 2008; and for attorney general in 2010 Fourth District - Josh Drake, an attorney from Hot Springs. This is Drake’s third consecutive attempt to be elected to this seat. Independent Arkansas caught up with Kennedy, Drake and Ward at the convention and was able to get video interviews with Kennedy and Drake. The three were realistic about their chances. Drake even said, “I joke that if I had a chance of getting elected, my wife wouldn’t let me run.” But Kennedy in particular promised a vigorous campaign. The three believe in Green Party values – stopping... more
Arkansans are going to the polls (again), this time to decide on whether the state should do a $575 million bond issue that would repair 400 miles of interstates. They should say yes, even though it means adding to Arkansas' state debt, which the nonpartisan State Budget Solutions totals $25 billion counting pension liabilities. That's because when it comes to roads, the state is going into debt whether we realize it or not. Every day, the interstates deteriorate. We can pay a lot to fix the cracks now, or we can pay a whole lot more to totally rebuild them, after they have torn up our cars and caused accidents. Bottom line: If we are going to have interstates, we have to maintain them. Here's more in today's column.
At Lincoln High School near Fayetteville, students learn not so much by listening to lectures but by working in self-directed group projects using laptops they can take home. Could this be what schools will look like in the future? Maybe. This year, Lincoln is one of two New Tech schools – the other being Cross County High – using the New Tech model. Begun 15 years ago in Napa Valley, New Tech schools give teachers and students more flexibility to decide how they will learn. Students are given a set of standards and then a project that they use MacBook laptops to design – in groups. They are graded not just on content mastery but also on their work ethic, communication skills and ability to collaborate with others. Expect more Arkansas schools to adopt the New Tech model. Gov. Beebe's STEM Works initiative encourages them to do so. Schools like Manor New Tech near Austin, Tex., have seen great success using the model. In the past month-and-a-half, at least 17 Arkansas schools have visited Manor. Here's more in my Sunday column.