University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy

State Board Meeting Recap

In AR Legislature on January 12, 2012 at 2:12 pm

The big news from the State Board of Education Meeting on Monday was the approval of 4 district-run charter schools. Although no open enrollment charter schools have been approved for the 2012-13 school year, four district-run conversion charters were unanimously approved on Monday.   (It seems that conversion charter applications have much better luck in Little Rock than do open-enrollment charters ….)  Be on the lookout for A View from the OEP piece about this in the near future.

An update was also given by Assistant Commissioner Bednar on the progress of the implementation and assessments of the Common Core standards in Arkansas.  A website is available for those interested in the progress of the PARCC assessments. We have attended several meetings and sessions related to the forthcoming Common Core implementation, and it seems that educators around the state are getting antsy since major changes are on the way, but there is not much concrete information.

Dr. Kimbrell also gave an update on the progress of the NCLB Waivers. In his own words, the Department is working “fast and furious” to develop the waiver request. Rules from the new legislation concerning teacher evaluations will be considered in the waiver. Additionally, the waiver request from Arkansas relates to how the state deals  with schools in academic distress. As you will remember, this is something we have talked about before. We look forward to seeing the draft that will be released–hopefully–by January 21.

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