This is positive? The Little Rock School District’s COVID-19 count


I was struck yesterday by Education Secretary Johnny Key’s spin on the “very positive” results of the state’s dogged insistence on in-person school instruction at all grade levels, with the ability to switch to remote instruction as warranted.

I guess it kind of depends on what your definition of “positive” is.


I say this after receiving the daily report yesterday from the Little Rock School District, where an entire high school, Southwest, is on virtual instruction through the end of this semester, not returning to class until Jan. 5.

Here’s the latest daily report — 11 new COVID cases and 91 new quarantines.


Here’s the weekly cumulative report, through last Friday.


These disruptions, which have caused shutdowns rolling through various schools and grades in Little Rock at different times amid enormous pandemic-created burdens for teachers, are “very positive” by Key’s definition because Little Rock has not had a district-wide shift to virtual instruction.

You wonder what it would take for Key, the boss of the district for six years in failed state receivership, to allow district-wide remote instruction. Little Rock was the last to receive approval from Key to give a full day to teachers to work on meeting the dual demands of in-person and remote instruction, long after other districts had done so.

Equal treatment under the law is not a phrase that applies to Little Rock in the Hutchinson administration.


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