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Barth to receive national honors

Jay Barth, the immediate past chairman of the Arkansas Board of Education, is to be one of three recipients of the 2019 Distinguished Service Award given by the National Association of State Boards of Education.

The award will be presented this fall at the organization’s annual conference on Oct. 16-19 in Omaha, Neb. Besides Barth, distinguished service awards will be awarded to Molly O’Holleran of Nebraska and Connie Fletcher of Washington.

Barth just completed a seven-year term on the Arkansas board where he was its chairman for two years. He led Arkansas’ effort to adopt next-generation science standards and championed changes in discipline practices, which culminated in state legislation to promote restorative practices. Barth headed the national organization’s board of directors in 2017.

“Jay was instrumental in uniting the board during a politically contentious period,” said Brenda Gullet of Fayetteville, a former Arkansas state board member who nominated Barth for the award. “The board functions better as a result of his efforts to revise board operating procedures, and he helped the board see the value in engaging families and the community in policy-making efforts. He is forever a champion for children, and his service to the Arkansas state board will have a lasting impact on every student in our state.”

Barth is the M.E. and Ima Graves Peace Distinguished Professor of Politics and director of the Arkansas Policy Program at Hendrix College, and has received numerous awards for his research and teaching, which focuses on the politics of the South, state government and politics, LGBT politics, political communication, and the achievement gap in Arkansas.

Finance projects in line for grants

Economics Arkansas, a nonprofit educational organization, is accepting teacher applications through Sept. 16 for grants of up to $500 to support classroom projects that involve economics, personal finance or entrepreneurship.

The grant program is open to all Arkansas prekindergarten-through-12th-grade teach-

ers who can apply as individuals or in teams of two. Funds will be awarded Sept. 30.

Applicants will have to complete a brief online application, including a budget and their school principal’s signature. Grant recipients will also have to submit a written final report and budget by the end of the school year. There is no application fee.

Details and complete instructions are available at

Meeting to focus on learning model

A town hall meeting on plans to establish college and career-themed academies in Pulaski County’s traditional high schools will be held from 5-7 p.m. Monday at the Laman Library in North Little Rock.

The event focusing on the Ford Next Generation Learning model of high school programming — adopted by all of the four school districts in Pulaski County — is being hosted by the North Little Rock Classroom Teacher Association-Educational Support Personnel. Patrick Bruce, a teacher in the North Little Rock Center of Excellence conversion charter school, is the organization president.

The town hall meeting is open to the public.

The Laman Library is at 2801 Orange St. in North Little Rock.

NLR district chiefs talk at conference

North Little Rock School District leaders have recently returned from New Orleans where they made a presentation on personalized learning and student-focused education to representatives from seven other states besides Arkansas.

Assistant Superintendent Karli Saracini, North Little Rock Middle School sixth grade Principal Michael Clark, and schoolteachers Brook Sanchez and Faith Jones were presenters at the invitation of the Central Comprehensive Center and South Central Comprehensive Center organizations that provide support to state education agencies in Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Minnesota and Oklahoma

The Central and South Central Comprehensive centers are part of a federally funded network of centers. This year’s theme was Educational Equity: Using Evidence-Based Practice to Close Achievement Gaps.

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