Entries - Entry Category: Education - Starting with E

Earle Race Riot of 1970

The Earle Race Riot of 1970 broke out in the late evening of September 10 and continued into the early hours of September 11, 1970. The violence erupted when a group of whites armed with guns and clubs attacked a group of unarmed African Americans who were marching to the Earle (Crittenden County) city hall to protest segregated conditions in the town’s school system. Five African Americans were wounded, including two women who were shot (one wounded seriously), but they all survived. Among the wounded were the Reverend Ezra Greer, who was a civil rights activist, and his wife, Jackie Greer. Both of the Greers were running for elected office in Earle. Earle’s black residents had been advocating for racial …

Earle, Fontaine Richard

Fontaine Richard Earle was a major in the Thirty-fourth Arkansas Infantry (CSA) from Cane Hill (Washington County). He fought in a number of Civil War battles in the Trans-Mississippi Theater and later served northwest Arkansas as a legislator (1866–1867), minister, teacher, administrator, and author. Fontaine R. Earle was born on January 9, 1831, in Pond River, Kentucky. His parents, Samuel Baylis Earle and Jane Woodson Earle, were farmers in Pond River; he had eight siblings. Earle received bachelor’s degrees in arts and divinity from Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, in 1858. He moved to Boonsboro (now Cane Hill) in 1859 to become president of Cane Hill College and a Cumberland Presbyterian minister. During the Civil War, he became engaged to …

East Arkansas Community College

East Arkansas Community College (EACC) is a comprehensive two-year college dedicated to meeting the educational needs of its service area in eastern Arkansas. The college has served as a leader for social and economic improvement and continued growth in the region. Citizens of St. Francis County created a college committee in 1968 out of a desire and need for a community college. At the time, there was no access to higher education in the area, with the exception of Memphis, Tennessee, and Jonesboro (Craighead County). Students who were unable to relocate had no other options. In June 1969, the committee—named the Crowley’s Ridge Community College Corporation—received approval for its initial charter. In 1971, Betty Jo Hodges donated $25,000 to the …

EAST Initiative

The EAST Initiative, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit headquartered in Little Rock (Pulaski County), provides oversight, training, and support for the nationally recognized EAST model of education that is practiced in schools across the nation. EAST, originally an acronym for Environmental and Spatial Technology, is an educational program that combines elements of technology education, collaborative teamwork, and service learning in a model that stresses student engagement. EAST was piloted at Greenbrier High School in Greenbrier (Faulkner County) during the 1995–96 school year. Founder Tim Stephenson was a second-career educator working with at-risk students who were struggling or underachieving in the traditional classroom atmosphere. He created an alternative environment utilizing self-directed, project-based learning, allowing the students to choose their own projects according to …

Eastham, Alan, Jr.

Alan Eastham Jr. was a career Foreign Service officer. Over the course of thirty-five years, he held posts in countries all over the globe, establishing a special expertise and serving his longest stints in countries on the African continent. Upon his retirement from the Foreign Service, he returned to Arkansas and became a member of the faculty at his alma mater, Hendrix College. Alan Eastham Jr. was born on October 16, 1951, in Dumas (Desha County). He received his early education in the local schools and spent much of his time at the local public library. In 1973, he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Hendrix College in Conway (Faulkner County). He later earned a law degree from Georgetown …

Eaves, Thomas Cary Duncan

Thomas Cary Duncan Eaves taught in the English Department at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) for thirty-seven years, ultimately being named a UA University Professor. Along with fellow UA professor Ben Drew Kimpel, Eaves wrote the definitive biography of eighteenth-century novelist Samuel Richardson; they also published numerous articles on Richardson and the works of twentieth-century poet Ezra Pound. Highly regarded as a scholar, Eaves was also renowned for the liveliness of his lectures and was a favorite among students in his department. Born in Union, South Carolina, on October 11, 1918, Duncan Eaves (who published under the name T. C. Duncan Eaves) was the only child of Donald Matheson Eaves and Louisa Duncan Eaves. He attended …

Ecclesia College

Ecclesia College describes itself as a Christian “work learning” college located in Springdale (Washington and Benton counties). Founded in 1975 by Oren Paris II as a training center for young missionaries, Ecclesia was accredited as a four-year college in 2005, with a strong emphasis in Christian faith and character, work ethic, mentoring, and service. In 2017, the college became embroiled in a scandal regarding the redirection of General Improvement Fund (GIF) money by state legislators to the small college. Ecclesia College is a branch of the “Ecclesia Network.” Ecclesia, the parent organization, was incorporated in 1976 and has participated in Christian service worldwide through ministries such as Youth With a Mission (a one-year training program), Twila Paris Productions, Bibles for the …

Eckford, Elizabeth Ann

Elizabeth Ann Eckford made history as a member of the Little Rock Nine, the nine African-American students who desegregated Little Rock Central High School in 1957. The image of fifteen-year-old Eckford, walking alone through a screaming mob in front of Central High School, propelled the crisis into the nation’s living rooms and brought international attention to Little Rock (Pulaski County). Elizabeth Eckford was born on October 4, 1941, to Oscar and Birdie Eckford, and is one of six children. Her father worked nights as a dining car maintenance worker for the Missouri Pacific Railroad’s Little Rock station. Her mother taught at the segregated state school for blind and deaf children, instructing them in how to wash and iron for themselves. …

Economics Arkansas

aka: Arkansas Council on Economic Education (ACEE)
In 1962, Archibald (Arch) Ford, Arkansas education commissioner, and Bessie Moore, supervisor of education, formed the Arkansas Council on Economic Education (ACEE) as a private, non-profit, non-partisan organization to promote economic literacy in Arkansas. Now known as Economics Arkansas, the organization’s mission is “to promote economic literacy and the economic-way of thinking to students in Arkansas by empowering educators to teach the fourth ‘r,’ real life economics.” Economic education is real-life, because young people will grow up and become part of the marketplace. The council provides resources and training to Arkansas teachers (kindergarten through twelfth grade) in public and independent schools. Through training of teachers, a multiplier effect is achieved. Each school year, the training a teacher receives through Economics …

Education Reform

Education reform, the process of improving public education through changes in public policy, has been slow and often ineffective in Arkansas. All aspects of public education are open to reform, including school finance, teacher quality, curriculum, transportation, and school facilities. Modern education reforms in Arkansas include school choice initiatives, alternative teacher pay, and standards-based accountability and testing. Arkansas has historically been one of the lowest-performing states academically, and even today, despite major improvements in funding and student achievement during the last decade, Arkansas still ranks below the national average on many objective measures. Arkansas also has one of the most undereducated populations in the nation in terms of the percentage of adults with college degrees and the percentage of high …

Education, Elementary and Secondary

Education has been evolving since the first humans arrived in Arkansas. By the late nineteenth century, as Americans became enamored with modernization, active programs of state-funded schools were looked upon as vital necessities. Since many Arkansans did not share these modernizing values, a state commitment to education lagged significantly behind the rest of the nation. Largely agrarian Arkansans remained unconvinced that tax-supported education was worth the cost, and the end of racial segregation produced a cultural crisis witnessed across the nation. By the 1990s, some evangelical Christians began sending their children to church-related schools or practiced home-schooling in response to what they saw as the failure of Arkansas’s public schools. Pre-European Exploration Education started in Arkansas with the arrival of …

Education, Higher

Formal education above the high school level came to be known as higher education in the twentieth century. In Arkansas, higher education appeared, at least in name, prior to the Civil War, but the state university and most of the private institutions were postwar products. Early Nineteenth Century During Arkansas’s colonial period (1686–1802), there is no evidence of any public interest in higher education and little interest in even the most elementary sort. The transfer of Louisiana from France to the United States resulted in the arrival in Arkansas of numerous persons with backgrounds in higher education. James Miller, the first territorial governor, had attended Williams College in Massachusetts, as had Chester Ashley, the leader of the state bar association …

El Dorado Junior College

El Dorado Junior College was a public junior college open from 1928 to 1942 in El Dorado (Union County). Operating on the campus of El Dorado High School, it was established as a preparatory school by the El Dorado School District for students hoping to enter universities. The high school and El Dorado Junior College often shared equipment, instructors, laboratories, the gymnasium, and other facilities, but the two institutions remained separate in many respects. In particular, the high school mostly used the newer auditorium building for lectures, while the college mostly used the adjacent classroom building. This red brick, three-story classroom building had actually been constructed in 1905 as the high school for El Dorado. Because of its use as …

El Dorado Promise

The El Dorado Promise is a scholarship program established in January 2007 by Murphy Oil Company. The initiative provides El Dorado High School graduating seniors with a grant for tuition and expenses at any two- or four-year post-secondary institution in the United States. The maximum amount paid by the grant is set by the highest annual resident tuition at an Arkansas public university, but the funds can be used to attend any accredited U.S. college or university. This program covers only associate and baccalaureate degrees. The El Dorado Promise was modeled after the successful Kalamazoo Promise in Michigan, and the city of El Dorado (Union County) has seen similar growth and increased national attention. Murphy Oil, headquartered in El Dorado, …

Elam, Lloyd Charles

Lloyd C. Elam was a groundbreaking psychiatrist and college administrator who founded the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, and later served as that college’s president. He was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 1997. Lloyd Charles Elam was born on October 27, 1928, in Little Rock (Pulaski County) to Harry Elam and Ruth Davis Elam. Elam was baptized at age seven at Christ Temple Church of Christ (Holiness) USA in Little Rock; he was active in Sunday school, becoming superintendent of the Sunday school at age seventeen. He attended Stephens Elementary School, then Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, where he graduated at the age of fifteen in 1944. Elam …

Elrod, Ben

Ben Moody Elrod was a prominent educational and civic leader in the latter part of the twentieth century. A minister, fundraiser, and educator dedicated to expanding students’ worldview, he played a central role in the growth and development of what is now Ouachita Baptist University (OBU). Ben M. Elrod was born on October 13, 1930, in Rison (Cleveland County). The second son of Searcy Elrod and Frances Sadler Elrod, he got his early education in Rison, but beginning at age fifteen he spent part of two years serving as a page in the U.S. House of Representatives. It was during his time in Washington DC that he first felt called to the ministry. After returning to Rison in time to …

Episcopal Collegiate School

Episcopal Collegiate School is an independent college-preparatory school in the Episcopal tradition located on thirty-four gated acres near downtown Little Rock (Pulaski County). Founded in 1998, it teaches students in grades Pre-K through the twelfth grade, with a total enrollment of 780 students in 2015. In 1996, a small group of parents sought to establish a new middle school in Little Rock with a similar Episcopal educational experience as the Cathedral School, an established Little Rock K–6 school. As a result of this effort, the Cathedral Middle School was established in 1997 and began operations in 1998 as an independent and separately incorporated educational institution. In the fall of 1998, the new Cathedral Middle School began teaching its first students …

Epperson v. Arkansas

Epperson v. Arkansas, a case argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, challenged the right of a state to outlaw the teaching of evolution in public schools. On November 12, 1968, the Supreme Court ruled that Arkansas’s Initiated Act Number 1, an antievolution law approved by Arkansas voters in 1928, violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment and was therefore unconstitutional, thus setting a legal trend for the nation as a whole. The antievolution movement in Arkansas came into its own just as it was declining nationwide. The 1925 Scopes “Monkey” Trial made fundamentalist groups objects of ridicule and thus sent them retreating from the cultural and political mainstream. In January 1927, however, State Representative Astor L. Rotenberry of Pulaski …

Eros School Building

The Eros School Building was constructed around 1935, probably by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a Depression-era federal relief agency. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 4, 1992. Eros (Marion County), located in Prairie Township in southwestern Marion County, received its first white settlers around 1854 and had a post office by the late 1880s. The community had one of the five schools in the township in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. By the mid-1930s, the community received funding from one of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal agencies to build a new school. The funding likely came from the Works Progress Administration, which conducted a number of projects in the county; …

Evans, David L.

David L. Evans worked as an engineer on the Saturn rockets and Apollo moon landing missions but became best known later for his recruitment efforts on behalf of Harvard University, where his work led to greater diversity in the student body. He was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2005. David L. Evans was born in 1939 in Wabash (Phillips County), near Helena (Phillips County), to sharecropper parents; he was the fourth of seven children. His father died when he was ten years old. Family members encouraged his mother, pregnant with her seventh child, to move to Chicago, Illinois, or Cleveland, Ohio. Instead, his mother left tenant farming and became a maid. When Evans was sixteen, his …

Evolution, Teaching of

Few educational issues have caused as much vehement debate in Arkansas as the teaching of evolutionary theory—the scientific proposition that species change, or evolve, over time, primarily through the mechanism of natural selection. Books and articles have been written, laws passed, sermons delivered, and trials held, with the defenders and the critics of the teaching of evolution united only in their belief that the handling of this subject in Arkansas classrooms was a matter of the gravest importance. Passions and tempers remain high even into the twenty-first century. By the late nineteenth century, many people in Arkansas, indeed all over America, were becoming increasingly disturbed by modernization, with its sweeping changes in the way people lived and thought. These changes …