Find out more →

Get unlimited access. Become a digital member!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Arkansas No. 5 in education ranking; but below curve in achievement

Posted By on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 5:53 AM

ARKANSAS A LEADER: But needs improvement in achievement.
  • Education Week
  • ARKANSAS A LEADER: But needs improvement in achievement.

Bound by one of those stupid embargoes some national groups still persist in using that favor dead-tree publications, I couldn't release until this morning Education Week's annual ranking that again puts Arkansas No. 5 among the stats on a group of education measures.

Achievement? We still score a D. (The state avoided repeating that letter grade in its characterization of the report, choosing instead to say we scored "just below the national average" in its news release distributed late last night.)

It is not excuse, but fact, that achievement here, there and everywhere invariably tracks family income and prior education. (Arkansas is a poor state, in case you didn't know.) What we want to know is where schools have defied that pattern. To my knowledge — though individual teachers and schools and even some small school districts have been outliers — nobody has yet developed a replicable solution on a broad scale. Certainly not charter schools or private schools, in case you wondered.

But we try. And we should try. And where the state can exert some positive influence on elements that guide the effort and do it as well as, or better than, others, good.

State news release follows on jump. Here's a link to the Education Week report. The publication also has taken a look at school safety and discipline this year.

EDUCATION DEPARTMENT NEWS RELEASE

LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas’s public education system ranks fifth in the nation according to the latest edition of Education Week’s Quality Counts. The report gives the state high marks in the transitions and alignment category; the standards, assessments and accountability category; and the teaching profession category.

“Quality Counts validates what we already know: Arkansas’s public school system has effective policies and reforms,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Tom Kimbrell. “But this report also confirms we must expect continued improvement in student achievement and seek innovations to expand learning opportunities.”

This year’s Quality Counts grades were based on the performance of states in six broad areas: the role of education in promoting success at various stages of life; K-12 student achievement; rigor and quality of academic standards, assessments and accountability systems; teacher preparation, licensure and evaluation; school finance; and alignment of state policies related to school, college and workforce readiness. Though all six of these categories are used to determine the overall score for each state, the scores in only three categories have been updated for 2013—chance for success; transitions and alignment; and school finance.

Arkansas earned an A in two categories—standards, assessments and accountability; and transitions and alignment. The state also received a B+ in the teaching profession category. Areas for improvement include K-12 achievement and chance for success categories where the state fell just below the national average. The state met the national average in school finance.

“Governor Mike Beebe, the State Board of Education and the General Assembly have worked to increase the rigor of the standards of learning and promote college-and-career readiness,” Kimbrell said. “The results of their efforts are reflected in the findings of Quality Counts. I have no doubt as our schools implement these new standards and policies, Arkansas will improve its rankings by closing the gap with the nation in student achievement.”

State-level data gathered by Education Week comes from a policy survey of the states conducted in the summer and fall of 2012. In addition, the publication draws on data from the U.S. Department of Education.

Tags: , , ,

Speaking of...

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Stop the War on Women: March 23

    Organizers of "Protest at the State Capital" are calling on women who are appalled at the treatment the Arkansas legislature has handed them this session to rally at the state Capitol at 3 p.m.
    • Mar 14, 2013
  • Woo, Pig, Bruce Westerman for Congress

    Republican state Rep. Bruce Westerman's announcement as a candidate for 4th District Congress is later today, but he's already rolled out the Westerman biopic on YouTube, complete with plenty of shots of his days as a walk-on football player at the University of Arkansas (Cotton Bowl victories during the Westerman era) and plenty of other touchstones from God (good) to IRS (bad).
    • Aug 13, 2013
  • Protest tomorrow on legislature's assault on women's rights

    A reminder of the social media-driven rally at the Capitol at 3 p.m. Saturday over the legislature's unprecedented and unconstitutional infringement on women's medical rights.
    • Mar 22, 2013

People who saved…

Most Shared

  • A child left unprotected

    State Rep. Justin Harris and his wife adopted a young girl through the state Department of Human Services. How did she, six months later, end up in the care of a man who sexually abused her?
  • Rep. Nate Bell blasts adoption story before seeing it; 'rehoming' bill introducted

    Response to our story about rehoming and adoption has been overwhelmingly positive, with one exception. Rep. Nate Bell (R-Mena) has informed me that writing this story makes me the predator and Justin Harris the victim. I'm hellbound, apparently.
  • Mary Steenburgen adds voice against gay discrimination law

    Mary Steenburgen, the Arkansas native actress, has added her voice to those opposing HB 1228, the bill aimed at preserving legal discrimination against gay people under the pretext of religious freedom. It would create untold other complications for all sorts of government activities to give people a religious excuse to avoid the law.
  • New video from Lo Thraxx, 'City Slickin / Corner'

    Here's a new, two-part music video from Little Rock's Lo Thraxx, for his songs "City Slickin'" and "Corner." His forthcoming record, the long-awaited "Sharkansas," is set to be released on March 13.
  • On the cover: A legislator's adoption and 'rehoming'

    This week's cover story is an important one by Benjamin Hardy about an adoption practice of "rehoming" that has become controversial nationwide and the harm that befell a child who'd been placed in another's care after being adopted by a state legislator.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2015 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation