University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy

Rewarding Top Performing Schools in Arkansas

In The View from the OEP on September 14, 2011 at 12:56 pm

The mission of the Office for Education Policy is to look at pressing issues through the lens of academic research and disseminate our findings to educators, policymakers, and other stakeholders around Arkansas. One of our favorite parts of our job is to share good news!

For example,we  recently released our Spotlights on Success report which highlighted five schools showing extraordinary achievement. Over the next ten weeks, we will continue to recognize and honor the hard work that is being accomplished in our schools across Arkansas through our Annual OEP Awards.

Blue RibbonWe started the OEP Awards two years ago to highlight successful districts and schools in the state. As in previous years, the OEP Awards highlight top schools on the Benchmark and End of Course Exams for the 2010-11 academic year. Categories are grouped by each region, by each school level. Additionally we highlight schools that are doing extraordinary work with at-risk student populations. We plan to release a new installment of the OEP awards every other week.

The first installment of the OEP Awards reports overall performance in the state on the math and literacy benchmark exams. Since the benchmark exam is given to students in grades 3-8, our “school level” categorization separates elementary and middle school performance.Gold Medal

Consistent with our Spotlights on Success report, Salem Elementary in the Bryant School District found their way onto all three of our Top 20 Schools lists in this report that feature elementary school performance (3rd for math performance, 12th  for literacy performance, and 11th  for combined math and literacy performance).

Among middle schools, the Academy of Service and Technology in Vilonia placed at the top of the Top 20 Schools lists in all three measured categories: benchmark math, benchmark literacy, and combined benchmark math and literacy performance!

We are proud to report that not only are we seeing consistent performance by some schools (that is, many schools receiving OEP Awards in 2011 were also listed in the same category in last year’s report), but we are also seeing schools that are new to the OEP Awards lists. For example, Gillett Elementary School in the DeWitt School District ranked at the top of the elementary school list for math performance and placing 12th in benchmark literacy performance and 3rd on the combined math and literacy benchmark performance list!

There are many more exceptionally successful schools highlighted in this first installment of the OEP Awards. Please join us in offering a resounding congratulations to all of the schools, administrators, teachers, school staff, and most importantly, the students for a job well done. We hope you will keep up the good work and stay tuned in the weeks to come to see if your school will receive additional OEP Awards!!!

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