January 2017 Key Points Script

This video is available at http://www.arkansased.gov/divisions/communications/key-points/.

Correction: in the Student Spotlight section, the Arkansas Coalition for Student Voice in Education spoke during a steering committee meeting on Nov. 30, not Nov. 10.

Hi, I’m Johnny Key. Thank you for joining me for the January edition of Key Points.

Welcome Back! – Commissioner Key

Welcome back to school! I hope you are having a great start to the new year. I look forward to continued discussions with you as we transform Arkansas to lead the nation in student-focused education. The next legislative session begins January 9, so I encourage you to stay tuned for new updates throughout the session. I also encourage you to get involved in the development of the Arkansas Accountability System under the Every Student Succeeds Act. ESSA replaced No Child Left Behind and gives states the opportunity to develop an accountability system that will effectively measure the education system in their state. Your input is important. Please visit the ESSA page on our website to learn how you can get involved. I also want to thank you for your continued efforts to promote computer science education. Arkansas is a leader in computer science education, and I appreciate all that you are doing to help Arkansas’ students be ready for college, career and community engagement beyond high school.

Mega Kingfest – Commissioner Key

The Arkansas Department of Education is excited to partner with the Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy. ADE will live stream the 2017 MEGA KINGFEST – Arkansas’ official statewide King Holiday celebration, which will be held at 12 p.m. Monday, January 16 at historic Little Rock Central High School. The day will be filled with multiple activities and opportunities for you to get involved. To see other King Holiday events, visit the Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission’s website at www.arkingdream.org. Be sure to join us in person or online at the link on your screen. It’s going to be an exciting day!

Teacher Cadets – Jeff Dyer

We are excited to announce that the number of high school students, schools and universities participating in the Arkansas Teacher Cadets Program has increased significantly this school year! By introducing high school students to the teaching profession and its many rewards, we are making strides toward reducing the teacher shortage. Students who participate in the program learn about the requirements to become a successful teacher and have the opportunity to put that knowledge into practice through a classroom internship. Districts who participate in the program partner with a college or university to offer concurrent credit for the college-level course. Thirty-eight Arkansas schools and more than 450 students are participating in the program this school year, compared to eight schools and approximately 115 students participating during the 2015-2016 school year. In addition to a dramatic increase in public school participation, the number of university partners has increased as well, with 13 universities and colleges partnering to offer concurrent credit this school year. During the 2015-2016 school year, five colleges and universities participated. The Arkansas Teacher Cadets Program is open to any Arkansas public school and career and technology center. To learn more, visit the Teacher Cadets page on our website. On another note, ADE is pleased to announce that more than 140 candidates have inquired about the Teach Again campaign so far! The campaign encourages teachers who have left the profession to return. Learn more on the Teach Again webpage.

Student Spotlight – Commissioner Key

This month I want to highlight the Arkansas Coalition for Student Voice in Education, a group of Arkansas students who are providing valuable input on how to improve the education system. These outstanding student leaders presented student survey results November 10 at the Vision for Excellence in Education and Arkansas Accountability System Steering Committee meeting. The student group initiated a student survey that was completed by more than 5,000 students from around the state. A recording of the meeting is posted on the Stay Informed Archive page on the ADE website. The students will provide a full report to the State Board of Education at 10 a.m. January 12.

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