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The 74 Presents

Saving Schools in America’s Fastest-Shrinking City

Exodus and renewal in Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Arriving May 06, 2024

‘We Want Our Kids Back’: To Entice Families, Pine Bluff Looks to its Schools

The nation’s fastest-shrinking city, and among its least safe, hopes an education turnaround will help spark a revival in central Arkansas.

Linda Jacobson
Author: Linda Jacobson
Arriving May 06, 2024

Student’s View: Look Closer at Our Shrinking City and You’ll See a Community Rallying Around Its Schools

Student council president: Urban decay & crime is only part of the story in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. This community is fighting for educational quality.

John Thompson
Author: John Thompson
Arriving May 07, 2024

Pine Bluff’s Friendship Schools Bring Hope to the City ‘No One Wanted to Touch’

With an emphasis on Black teachers, the 7-school charter network is pushing to rejuvenate Arkansas’ once highly-educated Black metropolis.

Greg Toppo
Author: Greg Toppo
Arriving May 07, 2024

Learning Amid Chaos in the Arkansas Delta: What the Research Shows Us About School Safety

Studies show that youth violence significantly impedes student achievement. This is how Pine Bluff wrestles with the 'trauma in the room.'

Kevin Mahnken
Author: Kevin Mahnken
Arriving May 08, 2024

How Black Educators in America’s Fastest-Shrinking City Are Reimagining Teacher Pipelines

A network of educators new and old in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, see a bright future for the city’s schools. What they’re doing to make it a reality.

Marianna McMurdock
Author: Marianna McMurdock
Arriving May 09, 2024

Pine Bluff Football Coach Returns to His Struggling Hometown — And Scores Big for Students

Arkansas coach prioritizes grades, leverages recruiters & cares for his players — especially after a tragic loss — and sees team land college offers.

Jo Napolitano
Author: Jo Napolitano
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