Lake View district says masters missed mark

(April 23, 2004) - (Little Rock-AP) -- An official response to a court- rdered evaluation of education reform says the state finds little fault with the report. But the school district that successfully sued to improve schools condemned the effort, filing an objection and making nine recommendations. The report on education reform efforts was compiled for the state Supreme Court by two special masters. Responses were filed yesterday. The Lake View filing by lawyer Bill Trimble objected to the masters' "failure to inform the court of the unconstitutionality" of school consolidation and their failure to recommend its repeal. In the state's response, Attorney General Mike Beebe wrote that early-childhood education should not be included when considering how to improve public education. The filing praised the two masters, Bradley Jesson and David Newbern, for summarizing the legislation and regulations enacted in response to the Supreme Court's November 2002 opinion that the public education system is unconstitutional. However, the five-page response disputed the notion that pre-kindergarten education be mandatory.