Achievements in Arkansas Education Reform
In the Summer of 1983, Governor Clinton launched special efforts to identify inadequacies in education throughout Arkansas and to create mechanisms necessary for reform. Included in the reforms was the creation of the Education Standards Committee, led by Hillary Rodham Clinton. After holding 75 meetings throughout the state, this Committee created proposals such as improving the quality of teachers and curriculum standards. The Arkansas Board of Education later implemented many of these proposed standards for statewide educational reform. Also in 1983, Governor Clinton proposed a one-cent sales tax to fund education reform. Although the sales tax proposal included controversial teacher competency tests, the legislative package passed. As a result, many improvements in education were instituted in the years that followed.
Related Clinton Gubernatorial Collections
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
Little Rock, Arkansas provides a unique opportunity for researchers to study the continuity of education reforms from Governor Clinton’s efforts in Arkansas to President Clinton’s nationwide goals. Downtown Little Rock is home to both NARA’s Clinton Presidential Library and the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, a department of the Central Arkansas Library System. In fact, these two archives are only about a ten or fifteen minute walk from one another. While the Butler Center houses the historical records on Governor Clinton and education reform, NARA’s William J. Clinton Presidential Library is home to materials on President Clinton and educational reform.
The Butler Center’s collections on Governor Clinton and educational reform in Arkansas include the Don Ernst Collection (CP.02.03.01), the Paul Root Collection (CP.02.03.03), the Connie Dardin Collection (CP.02.03.04), and the Kathy Van Laningham Collection (CP.02.03.05). These collections include drafts of legislation, correspondence among staff, and correspondence between constituents and staff. In addition, information about the 1989 Charlottesville Summit and later education reform activities can be found in the Gloria Cabe Collection (CP.02.03.02) or the Education Team Collection (CP.02.03.06).