Dr. Charity Smith-Allen
Principal Associate for Education at Fetterman and Associates.
Chairman of Department of Education -Philander Smith College
Owner of Arkansas College Prep
Dr. Charity Fleming Smith (Allen) is the Principal Associate for Education at Fetterman and Associates serving with a proven track record for improving the performance of under-performing students and school districts. As a result of her leadership one of the schools is now a National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recipient. After 16 years as Assistant Commissioner for Education in Arkansas, she is now a full-time national consultant and lecturer. Dr. Smith served as the first African American Assistant Commissioner/Superintendent for the Arkansas Department of Education in the Division of Academic Assessment and Accountability. During her tenure, Arkansas received national recognition in a number of areas, including rigorous academic standards, assessment, accountability, reporting, teacher quality, and consistent academic improvement ranking Arkansas 6th in the nation for accountability and assessment by Education week under her leadership. Dr. Smith help create the Teach/Arkansas Initiative and the Arkansas Technical Advisory Committee on Student Assessment.
Dr. Smith and her team lead the school turnaround initiative which resulted in the Eudora Elementary school receiving the coveted National Blue-Ribbon Award for overall academic excellence and for their progress in closing achievement gaps, among student subgroups and the removals of Several Districts from the Academic Distress list. (Note: The National Blue-Ribbon School flag gracing an entry or flying overhead is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning.) The National Blue-Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Eudora Elementary is 99% minority and 99% high- poverty
Additionally, Dr. Smith is a highly sought after national speaker, consultant, education policy analyst and educational leader. She has been selected as a plenary speaker for the Nation conference on student Assessment by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Since 2012, she helped more than 5000 students improve their performance on the ACT and was named the” ACT Doctor “by Arkansas Students.
Dr. Smith, a Rockefeller Distinguished lecturer has been name as the Director of the Legislative Black Caucus Think Tank, and Legislative Policy Analyst or consultant for Curriculum Associates, Renaissance Learning, and Achieve 3000. Previously she has served as president of the Arkansas ACT Council, National Facilitator of States with Universal ACT, and the nation speakers for the 50th Anniversary of ACT. She has been selected for two consecutive years (2022 and 2023) as a Keynote speaker at the National Conference on student Assessment sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers.
Dr. Smith dedicated five years of her life to help ensure the opportunity for inner city children in Little Rock’s poorest area to have access to nutritious food and after school support by creating the First Baptist After School learning Collaborated. Smith consistently engages in scholarly work including the establishment of the Liberty Ilau Teacher Center of Excellence, and the Standards Alignment process for ACT with the Louisiana Department of Education and the Louisiana State University. Currently she is being considered for a pilot project to increase the number of minority teachers in Arkansas by the Walton Family Foundation.
Dr. Smith is a Doctoral graduate from the University of Arkansas in Little Rock and a Post- Doctoral Completer of Advanced Educational Leadership and Assessment Training from both Harvard and Stanford Universities. Her parents are AM&N/UAPB Graduates Mr. Walker and Mrs. Ruby Smith Fleming. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and she is married to Arkansas State Representative Fred Allen. They have three daughters.
Dr. Smith also serves as Chair of the Division of Education for Philander Smith College. With a passion for excellence, she has led initiatives that increased the graduation and teacher licensure rate 100%, and helped the College earn the coveted CAEP Accreditation. CAEP is the only accrediting agency for teacher preparation nationally recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. She has helped the college and the other HBCU’s in Arkansas receive over 1million dollars each in scholarship funds and additional targeted funding to assist education students with teacher certification assessments and fees.
Smith and her college students are advocates for social justice and they actively use their voices to influence teacher licensure and social justice legislation in Arkansas resulting in three pieces of legislation signed into law.
By Ruby Bridgeforth, Editor and Dr. Helen Johnson, Editor and AM&N/UAPB Alumni Board Member