Recently the state of Arkansas released the annual School Performance Report “grading” school performance across the state. This report compiles information about student performance on state and national assessments. The Office for Education Policy (OEP) at the University of Arkansas (UA) then released a corollary report titled the “Arkansas Education Report Card.” The state report showcases data for state and regional analysis whereas the UA report focuses on schools and school districts providing parents and other stakeholders with school specific data.
Summaries of the data within these reports highlight student performance on standardized tests, high school graduation dates, school discipline rates, and information on teachers. In the data, some highlights to note include a graduation rate above the national average. However, areas of concern are also noted including continued regional and demographic differences in student performance
The intent of this reporting is, of course, to inform the public of the state of schools in Arkansas. This data may also be used to drive conversations and inform policy. Teachers across the state may access these reports, and may wish to hold learning sessions around this data as well. In terms of advocacy for teachers and students in the state, these reports can be useful if the data is interpreted and handled in a manner to support continuous improvement purposes. Unfortunately, the data may also be overlooked and misinterpreted.