Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Education Secretary Jacob Oliva talk about the LEARNS Act and what it means for K-12 education in Arkansas at an invitation-only town hall in El Dorado on June 6, 2023. (Randall Lee/Courtesy of the Governor's Press Office)

Arkansas state officials, lawmakers search for common ground on AP African American Studies

BY: - August 23, 2023

This story was updated at 10:36 a.m. on Aug. 23, 2023. An AP African American Studies pilot course will be offered to completion during the 2023-24 academic year despite an ongoing review of curriculum materials, state officials told Arkansas lawmakers Tuesday.  About a dozen legislators met with Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Education Secretary Jacob […]

Arkansas Education Secretary Jacob Oliva (left) listens as Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders outlines her education initiative on Feb.8, 2023, at the state Capitol. (John Sykes/Arkansas Advocate)

An embarrassing week for Arkansas education leadership

BY: - August 20, 2023

The Arkansas Department of Education embarrassed itself and the state last week with its handling of what should be known as the African American Studies fiasco. First, the ADE botched the delisting of the Advanced Placement class from courses qualifying for graduation credit. Botched because the department didn’t alert teachers to the course’s removal until […]

Celebrate Black History Month with USA flag motif

High schoolers need exposure to ideas in African American studies

BY: - February 2, 2023

As Black History Month begins, our education governor’s Education Department says it’s reviewing an advanced placement course in African American studies that’s being tried out in two Arkansas schools as part of a pilot program in 60 high schools nationwide. The Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education is asking questions of the nonprofit that […]

Arkansas Secretary of Education nominee Jacob Oliva

Oliva selected as new K-12 education commissioner

BY: - January 12, 2023

The State Board of Education unanimously elected Arkansas’ new education secretary as the Arkansas Department of Education’s Division of Elementary and Secondary Education commissioner on Thursday. The board unanimously selected Jacob Oliva following an executive session at its regularly scheduled meeting.  “I am honored to receive the board’s approval today, and I look forward to […]