Published Online: January 3, 2006

Arkansas' State Highlights

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Vital Statistics
Public schools 1,128
Public school teachers 30,876
Pre-K-12 students 454,523
Annual pre-K-12 expenditures $2.9 billion
Minority students 30.1%
Children in poverty 26%
Students with disabilities 12.7%
English-language learners 3.8%

Summary of Grades

Arkansas scores at or above average in three out of the four graded categories of education policy in Quality Counts.

The state does not have science and social studies assessments that are aligned to state standards for elementary, middle, and high school students, which lowers its standards-and-accountability score. But Arkansas does have relatively strong accountability efforts in place. It sanctions and provides assistance to all low-performing schools, not just those that receive federal Title I dollars.

Arkansas ranks fourth among the 50 states and the District of Columbia for its efforts to improve teacher quality. The state does particularly well because it requires prospective teachers to pass a comprehensive battery of tests, and it requires veteran teachers to undergo classroom observations and complete portfolios in order to earn a more advanced level of certification.

In the area of school climate, Arkansas has room to improve on measures of student engagement and parent involvement. However, the state gains points because larger percentages of students attend small schools than in most other states. The state also tracks the condition of all its school facilities.

Arkansas performs fairly well on measures of resource equity. But as in most states, its wealth-neutrality score shows that Arkansas’ wealthier districts tend to have higher per-pupil funding levels than its poorer districts.

State Policy Report Card
Arkansas Avg. State Score
Standards and accountability C+ B-
Efforts to improve teacher quality A- C+
School climate C+ C+
Resource equity B- C
Overall Grade B- C+
Quality Counts Grading Breakdown
Standards and accountability Points awardedPoints possible
Standards 31.67 40
Assessment 19.77 30
School accountability 27 30
78 100
Efforts to improve teacher quality Points awardedPoints possible
Teacher education and qualifications 26.78 35
Teacher assessment 30 30
Professional support and training 20 20
Accountability for teacher quality 13.65 15
90 100
School climate Points awardedPoints possible
Engagement 8.83 15
School safety 15.33 20
Parent involvement 9.45 15
Choice and autonomy 16.5 20
Class size 8.33 10
School size 9.5 10
School facilities 10 10
78 100
Resource equity Points awardedPoints possible
Wealth-neutrality score 28.33 33.3
McLoone Index 27.33 33.3
Coefficient of variation 25 33.3
81 100
Note: Details may not sum to totals due to rounding.

Vol. 25, Issue 17

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