The Truth About Arkansas’ Education Only a Teacher Will Admit

colorful-girl-the-truth-about-arkansas-educationThere are very few current or former teachers serving in the state legislature. Yet, that is where major decisions are made that affect our children and ultimately Arkansas’ economic future. When we make good decisions that produce a qualified and equipped workforce, we create responsible citizens and a flourishing state economy.

I am proud to be one of the teachers running for that privilege to serve in the Arkansas House of Representatives. Who better to understand the decisions that affect our children and teachers than an educator?


Investing in All Kids Every Single Day

As a 25-year teacher and administrator, I work every single day with our students, parents, and teachers.

One of my greatest honors is working with some our school’s most troubled kids.

So many kids are growing up in terrible circumstances. But if we can find ways to make a difference in their lives and guide them to grow into mature, well-equipped contributing members of society, it will positively impact the future of our state.


Eliminate Bureaucracy So Teachers Can Do What They Were Called to Do

Teacher education programs in Arkansas are outstanding and produce some of the best teachers in the nation. We must give teachers the ability to educate our kids without burdening them with an abundance of regulation.

This is what our teachers need so they can do their very best work for our children.

  • Decrease the amount of testing in Arkansas schools.
    Arkansas used PARCC last year and then switched to ACT ASPIRE (currently under a one-year contract). This has put a burden on our schools that had to implement two new programs in two years.
  • Provide money to schools who want to implement innovative programs.
    Many schools are ready to implement better programs and strategies if funding was available.
  • Create a better set of standards for Arkansas and develop online testing that is conducted within our state.
    Fact: We are still using Common Core standards.
  • Provide schools with the money they need to help all students achieve success.
    Teachers commonly fund classroom and student needs out of their own pockets. They also have to raise money they need for educational programs in their classroom.
  • Improve funding and programs for treating students with emotional and mental problems.
    One of the greatest challenges our children face in Arkansas is serious lack of funding and support for these fragile students. Their safety, education, and future are at risk. Parents and educators have few resources to help them.


Time for a Change in District 90

When my opponent and current District 90 state representative ran for office, she talked non-stop at all the candidate forums about how she was running to improve education. If you look at her voting record and the bills she introduced and sponsored, you can see that wasn’t her intention at all. She failed our kids as a state legislator and doesn’t deserve another chance.

It’s time to elect a state representative in District 90 who is a proven advocate for the children of our state and has earned the right to represent them in the Arkansas House of Representatives.

It is my passion to protect all children, but especially the most vulnerable ones. During Governor Huckabee’s administration, I was proud to serve on the Arkansas Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board. I served for five years, including one year as chairman.

Let’s give our kids a brighter future. I have the expertise, experience, and passion for our children that my opponents (and most legislators) don’t. Please vote for me on March 1 in the Republican primary so that I may take this next step in serving as an advocate for our children.


The Urgency of Education in Arkansas

Before I close out my message on the need for legislators with real experience in education, I want to leave you with the findings of this report. You can see where Arkansas excels and where we fail our children.

In “Quality Counts,” a report published in 2012, the state of Arkansas received the following scores in six categories:

  • Chance for Success: C-minus (Rank 44th)
  • K-12 Achievement: D (Rank 34th)
  • Standards, Assessments, and Accountability: A (Rank 6th)
  • The Teaching Profession: B+ (Rank 2nd)
  • School Finance Analysis: C (Rank 2nd)
  • Transitions and Alignment in 2011: A (Rank 1st)

Please talk to your friends and family members who vote in District 90 (click here for the map). Please urge them to cast their vote for Jana K. Starr for state representative.


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