• Arkansas trails the nation in college readiness, with only 19% of students meeting ACT College Readiness Standards.
  • Yet in recent years the state has taken bold steps to address this problem— creating rigorous standards and assessments, strong accountability measures, and informative data systems.

About Arkansas

To outsiders, Arkansas is often defined by its challenges and shortcomings. Given that almost 27 percent of our children grow up in poverty and only two states have a smaller percentage of adults with an associate’s degree or higher, it’s indisputable that there is hard work to be done. 
 
Nevertheless, visitors learn quickly why many Arkansans respond to these challenges with genuine optimism bolstered by fierce pride. 
 
The state’s history boasts extraordinary examples of achievement— including cultural icons like Johnny Cash and Maya Angelou, wartime leaders like Generals Douglas MacArthur and Wesley Clark as well as political figures like Senator J. William Fulbright and President Bill Clinton. 
 
Our present day reality also shows striking signs of wider progress and increasing momentum.  In the private sector, homegrown Arkansas companies like Walmart, Dillard’s, Murphy Oil, Stephens Inc., and Tyson Foods are building a diversified economy that requires a skilled workforce, illustrating the need for a strong public education system.  The public sector has responded with education reforms including robust data and accountability systems, as well as some of the most rigorous standards and assessments in the country. These assets, combined with Arkansans’ intrinsic sense of pride, make this a state ripe for breakthrough progress.
 
There is still much work to be done— work that requires folks from all walks of life to come together to build the best education system possible for Arkansas children. 
 
In recent years, our corps size in Arkansas has grown exponentially as part of the Greater Mississippi Delta region. Nevertheless, requests for our teachers have still outpaced supply by almost two to one.
 
We need more young leaders to stand alongside the incredible Arkansans who are already addressing a tremendous need and a profound opportunity.
 

Connect With Us

2013 South Broadway
Little Rock, AR 72206
Tel 501-246-4856

Executive Director

Jared Henderson
A native Arkansan, Jared Henderson leads the Arkansas region for Teach For America.

Jared Henderson assumed leadership of the Arkansas region in 2013. Previously, he served as a senior vice president of Regional Operations. In this role he was responsible for Teach For America’s work in eight states including approximately 150 staff members and 1,500 corps members. As a fourth generation Arkansan and a product of Arkansas Public Schools, Jared has fierce pride for his home state and fully believes that it can ultimately be one of the first to provide all of its children with the opportunity to attain an excellent education. Jared holds B.A degrees in Computer Science and Physics from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and was a Dean’s Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Regional Stats

1991
YEAR TFA ARRIVED
9
CORPS SIZE THE FIRST YEAR
189
CORPS SIZE THIS YEAR
115
ALUMNI IN THE REGION
16,000
STUDENTS BEING REACHED
8
ALUMNI SCHOOL LEADERS
Data valid as of: Aug 2013