Dr. Kimbrell recommended that the state stopping using norm-referenced tests to assess kindergarteners. He said the department would develop a new type of kindergarten test. Some schools expressed concerns about the current kindergarten test not being age-appropriate for kindergarteners. Others were OK with it. But the department contacted other states and found no other state [...]
The board voted to allow Little Rock Preparatory Academy to expand its current grades 5-8 offerings to K-4. The board rejected LR Prep’s request to a change in its governance in which a charter management organization would be hired. Board members expressed concerns they weren’t given advance warning of the change and that they thought [...]
The board granted the Vilonia district’s request for four waiver days following a tornado that hit that community. The district had previously made up five days lost due to inclement weather. Des Arc requested eight days. The board approved three days. Huntsville’s request for one day was granted. Clinton requested two days and was granted [...]
Several districts are seeking waivers from the requirement of 178 school days due to lost days due to flooding. Dr. Kimbrell recommended that the board evaluate what the 178-day requirement means, whether it’s a requirement that should be adhered to or whether it’s a target. He recommended the board handle waiver requests for flooding as [...]
Dr. Charity Smith, assistant commissioner for accountability, complimented Cynthia Howell of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for a thorough report on federal requirements of how graduation rates must be calculated nationwide. The new methodology, among other things, will require districts to verify that students who transfer have indeed transferred and not dropped out of school.
Dr. Williams informed the board that the department’s request for a waiver on No Child Left Behind annual yearly progress requirements has been tentatively rejected by the U.S. Department of Education. Williams said an official with the USDOE said the request will be re-evaluated in the fall depending on the progress of related legislation in [...]
The June meeting set for June 13 will start a half-hour later, at 9:30 am. There will be a reception at 8:30 a.m. outside the state board auditorium to honor Board Chairman Dr. Naccaman Williams and Board Member Sherry Burrow. Their terms end next month. Dr. Tom Kimbrell, education commissioner, invited everyone to come by [...]
Five principals were recognized at the state board for being named “master principals” after successfully completing three years of professional development. They are: Glenda Bryan of Avondale Elementary in West Memphis, Cynthia Covington of Allen Elementary in Siloam Springs, Dondi Frisinger of Walker Elementary in Springdale, Cathy Koch of Upper Elementary 5th Grade School in [...]
The May meeting of the Arkansas State Board of Education is about to start. Watch live. Go to www.arkansased.org for streaming video and agenda.
The UCA College of Education presents its 2011 Leadership Institute. Friday June 10. Keynote speaker is Dr. Joseph F. Murphy from Vanderbilt University who will talk about closing the achievement gap. For more information see http://uca.edu/outreach/leadershipinstitute/