Dr. Kenneth James




Arkansas Advanced Initiative for Math and Science, Inc.


T. Kenneth James, Ed.D., was originally appointed as Commissioner of the Arkansas Department of Education by Gov. Mike Huckabee in 2004 and reappointed by Gov. Mike Beebe in January, 2007. Prior to his appointment, he served as the Superintendent of Schools in Fayette County Public Schools (Lexington, Ky.), Little Rock, Ark., Van Buren, Ark. and Batesville, Ark.

James also served as Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services with the Escondido Union High School District in Escondido, California.

James earned a Doctorate in Educational Administration and Supervision from Northern Arizona University and the United States International University in San Diego, California, in 1992. He received a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Northern Arizona University and a Bachelor’s Degree from Arkansas State University.

James began his career in education in 1972 and has served as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, coordinator of planning and assessment and assistant superintendent. His work in California provided him with experience in schools with large minority student populations.

In 1998, he was selected as the Superintendent of the Year for the State of Arkansas. James has served as an officer or board member of several professional organizations, including Arkansas Curriculum and Instruction Administrators, Economics America and the Arkansas Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development.

During the 2008-2009 term, he held the office of President of the Council of Chief State School Officers and Vice-Chairman of the Southern Regional Education Board of Directors. James presently serves on the Board of Directors of the Smithsonian Museum Advisory Board and the Regional Education Lab as well. He also has intimate knowledge about school assessment and curriculum in the state, having served on the ACTAAP Administrative Testing Committee.

“It was my privilege and honor to serve as the Commissioner of Education for the state of Arkansas,” said Dr. James. “During my tenure, we worked cooperatively and collaboratively with all stakeholders as we implemented reform initiatives across the state. As we continue to work with the United States Department of Education to implement the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act, our focus will be on enhancing learning opportunities and improving academic performance for all students.”