Today's Paper Obits Weather Community Calendar Newsletters Readers' Choice: Best of the Best
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) released its annual school report cards for the 2017-18 school year on Monday, which include information about the district such as graduation rates, college readiness and teacher quality.

This year, the reports included more detail about student demographics such as homeless students, students in foster care, gifted and talented students and students of military families.

The report cards are different than the letter grades assigned to individual schools from the state department in fall. The report cards do not assign a letter grade or overall score to the districts, but instead provides the raw data to allow school officials to learn more about where they’re at and how best to move forward.

The information, which is available about the district as a whole as well as individual schools, is available under the report card section on myschoolinfo.arkansas.gov.

Under this, each school and district’s information about enrollment, class sizes, the average years of teaching experience, the district’s average spending per student and a school’s letter grade can be found. Kimberly Friedman, director of communications with ADE, said the goal of releasing the information is for schools, parents and community members to use it for conversations about how to support and improve education at the local level.

“I encourage students, parents, educators, and community members to spend time reviewing the reports for their school and district,” ADE Commissioner Johnny Key said in a news release. “The reports, combined with other available data and information, should be used to guide conversations regarding continuous school improvement. Together, we will provide a student-focused education to all students in Arkansas.”

Last year’s report cards included achievement assessment, college readiness, school performance, school environment, retention rate, teacher quality, school choice and school expenditures.

This year, additional information in the report cards include growth, English language proficiency, student quality and student success, graduation rate, long-term goals, the previous three years at a glance data and Civil Rights Data Collection information. Not all of the school districts have information for each category.

Several of these new categories are also included in the school’s letter grade such as student quality and student success, graduation rate and English language proficiency. The letter grades were released in mid-October for each school in the state. However, unlike the letter grade, this information is not weighted in the report card which means none of the components are valued more than any of the others.

Each category looks at multiple statistics for the district that relates to that topic. For instance, college readiness looks at average ACT scores, SAT scores, advanced placement classes taken, advanced placement exams passed, college going rates and college credit accumulation rates.

Meanwhile, teacher quality looks at what percentage of teachers are licensed, what percentage have bachelor’s degrees compared to master’s degrees and the number of hours each school board member has spent going through training.

The school environment category looks at what percentage of parents received discipline policies, what percentage of staff have gone through discipline training, whether the district has a parental involvement plan and the number of student activity incidents such as staff assaults, student assaults, weapon incidents and expulsions.

The school expenditures category includes the percentage of students on free and reduced meals, the expenditures per student, average teacher salary and expenditures broken down by instructional, administrative, extracurricular, capital and debt service.

The previous three years at a glance offers all of this information in a spreadsheet that includes the rates for the same categories for the three years prior to the most recent report card for easier comparison – for these reports that includes 2016-17, 2015-16 and 2014-15.

Michael Shine may be reached at 870-862-6611 or mshine@eldoradonews.com. Follow him on Twitter and like him on Facebook @MichaelAZShine for updates on Union County school news.

District Characteristics for Union County schools

El Dorado

Enrollment — 4,403

Avg. Class Size — 20

Avg. years teaching Experience — 11

Per pupil spending —

• District avg. — $8,853

• State avg. — $9,807

School Choice - Legal Transfers — 20

Smackover-Norphlet

Enrollment — 1,111

Avg. Class Size — 14

Avg. years teaching Experience — 11

Per pupil spending —

• District avg. — $10,911

• State avg. — $9,914

Parkers Chapel

Enrollment — 752

Avg. Class Size — 12

Avg. years teaching Experience — 7

Per pupil spending —

• District avg. — $9,097

• State avg. — $9,914

Junction City

Enrollment — 673

Avg. Class Size — 14

Avg. years teaching Experience — 7

Per pupil spending —

• District avg. — $12,423

• State avg. — $9,914

Strong-Huttig

Enrollment — 293

Avg. Class Size — 12

Avg. years teaching Experience — 11

Per pupil spending —

• District avg. — $14,390

• State avg. — $9,914

Sponsor Content

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT