Online survey allows for Arkansans to voice opinions on education

Online survey allows for Arkansans to voice opinions on education

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A new statewide campaign wants your input on how to improve Arkansas Education.

The Arkansas State Board of Education is joining forces with the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation to bring change to education.

The campaign is called Forward Arkansas, and an online survey is up to allow residents state wide to give their opinion. Those with the organizations said they wanted to open it up to the people of Arkansas because they believe a statewide discussion is what it will take to make sure every child is succeeding.

Those in Region 8 do have concerns with the Arkansas Education system.

Some in Region 8 said one issue is that recent changes to education have pushed away good teachers.

"Phenomenal teachers that have a special place in people's hearts, you know, if they had to go back and do it all over again, they wouldn't," one resident said.

The survey asks for your feedback, and many have ideas on what needs to be looked at.

"When they started consolidating, I wasn't a big fan of that," Jason Gay said. "I like the small community."

Gay said he see's size and quick growth as an issue, as well.

"They're all growing, and it seems like they do struggle to keep up with the rate of the population," Gay said.

Kimberlie Pennington wants to see more traditional ways of learning.

"I believe they need to be sending more books home," Pennington said.

Another mother believes discipline and suspension policy needs attention.

"I don't really think that's teaching them," Kametrius Riley said. "I think it should be something else in place of the suspension instead of sending them home, because they can't learn at home."

A lot of people said they believe Arkansas education is on track, especially with the teachers.

"I think we are doing a pretty good job," Gay said.

"My son, he has some very good teachers, and principals, and coaches that back him up a lot," Riley said. "They are really concerned with anything that goes on with him."

Many I spoke with support the idea of the survey.

"I think the people that are handling it are in the right place," Jason Lucy said. "Public opinion matters a lot."

The survey will be up until mid-February at forwardarkansas.org. A report will be released later in January outlining Arkansas education. After the surveys are compiled, a plan will be put in place to improve schools, particularly schools in academic distress.

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