University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy

The Last “OEP Weekly Links” of 2011

In OWL-OEP Weekly Links on December 14, 2011 at 11:02 am

December 14, 2011

This week marks the end of the semester for those of us at the University of Arkansas. For OWL readers, this signifies a lull in your weekly Ed-Links. For our graduate students, this marks a much needed rest after a pretty intense semester. When we return in 2012, we will have some interesting policy briefs prepared for your consumption. Until then, we wish you a Happy Holiday Season, and a refreshing Christmas break. We will see you in 2012!

News from Around the Natural State

New Program to Assist At-Risk Students in Northwest Arkansas High Schools

A new Northwest Arkansas Career and College Coaches Program will start a pilot project in Benton and Washington Counties next year. The program is modeled after Governor Beebe’s “Arkansas Works” Program. The new program, based at the University of Arkansas, will place 15 career coaches in 17 Northwest Arkansas high schools. It is organized and funded through a partnership between the Walton Family Foundation, the University of Arkansas College of Education and Health Professions, the Northwest Arkansas Council’s Educational Excellence Work Group and the Northwest Arkansas Education Service Cooperative.

Arkansas Department of Education Requests Input on ESEA Flexibility Waiver

The Arkansas Department of Education has the opportunity to apply for flexibility from certain requirements of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, affectionately known as the No Child Left Behind Act. As part of the waiver application process, the ADE has requested input from stakeholders about the waiver application.

Board’s Ethics Hearing Clears Athletic Director

The Arkansas Board of Education held a nearly three-hour hearing Monday on allegations that an athletic director violated the state’s ethics code for teachers over whether he followed proper bidding procedure. Despite conflicting and ambiguous testimony from those sworn in on Monday, the board unanimously decided in favor of Clarksville School District Athletic Director Gary Thompson who was accused by his superintendent of improperly acquiring competitive bids for athletic equipment in violation of the state’s Code of Ethics for educators.

Site Seeing

Last June, the OEP presented at the University of Central Arkansas Summer Learning Institute on our Arkansas Education Report titled “Spotlights on Success: Traits and Strategies of Five High-Growth Schools in Arkansas.” AETN was there to film our presentations and have graciously offered to host the videos on its website. The videos are linked below:

Session 1, Video 1: Introduction and Overview

Session 1, Video 2: Panel Discussion with School Leaders

Session 2, Video 3: Characteristics of Successful Schools

Session 2, Video 4: Situating the Case Study, Results in the Broader Research

Mark Your Calendar

Joint Committee on Education, Monday, January 9, 2012, 1:30 PM, Room 171

Joint Committee on Education, Tuesday, January 10, 2012, 1:30 PM, Room 171


Thanks for reading!  See you next week!

The Office for Education Policy
University of Arkansas
  Gary W. Ritter Ph.D.
Chief of Staff:

Misty Newcomb

Research Associates:

Caleb P. Rose

James L. Woodworth

Alexandra M. Boyd

Gregory F. Michel

Charlene A. Reid

If you would like to be added or removed from this list, please send an e-mail to

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