University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy

OWL News Links 08/29/2012

In OWL-OEP Weekly Links on August 29, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Good afternoon,

While the second week of school is upon us, there is still a lot of focus on last year’s achievement. Below are a few articles from Arkansas and around the nation.

News from Around the Natural State

Students in State Top Mark in Math

The majority of Arkansas students in grades 3-9 have exceeded the nationwide average on the Iowa Test of Basic skills in Math but did not fare as well in the reading and language sections. Overall, Arkansas students performed better this year than last year. Some observers prefer to analyze results of nationally norm-referenced exams because they can provide a better sense of Arkansas’ students ability to compete nationally for further education and/or jobs.

State’s ACT Average Score Rises to 20.3, up from 19.9

Arkansas high schools scored an average of 20.3 on this year’s 36-point ACT college admission test, which is an improvement from last year’s 19. 9 average score. This is comparable to the nation-wide average score of 21.1.

News from Around the Nation

The Irreplaceables: Understanding the Real Retention Crisis in America’s Urban Schools

A recent study, released by The New Teacher Project, claims that many urban lower-performing schools are not doing enough to retain the right teachers. The report shows that districts are not placing enough emphasis on teacher quality, so the best teachers are not being recognized, and no extra effort is being put forward to retain the best teachers.

ACT Finds Most Students Still Not Ready for College

Though this year’s ACT scores were steady, 60% of 2012 students have failed to meet the “college-ready” benchmark (as defined by the ACT organization) in two of the four tested subjects, putting the students in jeopardy of failing in their pursuit of a college degree and career.

Hunger in Our Schools

A recent report released by Share Our Strength shows that child hunger is a growing problem.  Three out of five US teachers report that they have kids who come to school regularly hungry.

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