University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy

The Envelope, Please: 2011-2012 OEP Awards

In The View from the OEP on September 6, 2012 at 9:28 am

Last week we reminded readers that t’is the season for our annual OEP Awards that highlight high performing schools in Arkansas. Today, the OEP is releasing the first installment of the 2012 OEP Awards highlighting the excellent performance students and teachers in elementary and middle schools across the state.  This year’s OEP Awards are based on the April 2012 Arkansas Benchmark exam scores for students in grades 3-8. Each table presented in this section of the report presents the top 25 schools for the noted subject and school level. In addition, these tables include the region in which the school is located, the grades served at the school, the percent of students scoring at the proficient and advanced levels in 2012, and the GPA of the school in that particular subject (read more about our GPA measure here).

Downtown Eudora – Photo taken from the Eudora Project. Click on the picture for more information.

Among the Top 25 Elementary Schools is a newcomer to the list:  Eudora Elementary School in the Lakeside School District. Eudora students earned a 3.77 GPA for math benchmark performance with 91% of the school’s students scoring at the proficient or advanced level on the exam. This achievement was earned despite having a student body with a high number of economically disadvantaged students (93% of the students at Eudora Elementary receive a free or reduced price lunch). Congratulations to the students and to Principal James Maiden and his staff on a great year!

On the Top 25 Elementary Schools in Arkansas Based on Benchmark Literacy Achievement list, 21 of the 27 schools (we exceeded 25 schools on some lists due to ties in GPA scores) placed on last year’s OEP Awards in this same category. However there were some new schools to the list this year. For example, we say “congratulations” to London Elementary School in the Russellville School District;  97% of London’s students scored at the proficient or advanced levels on the literacy benchmark exam. The school also posted a 3.71 GPA in this category. This achievement is remarkable considering the school has 85% of students receiving a free or reduced price lunch. Congratulations tot eh students and to Principal Tami Chandler and all her staff on a job well done!!

Among middle schools in this same category, there were more schools making a new appearance on the list from last year. For example, 17 of the 28 schools were featured on the Top 25 Elementary Schools in Arkansas Based on Benchmark Literacy Achievement in the 2011 OEP Awards. However, today we say “congratulations” to Hector High School (serving grades 7-12, hence the middle school categorization) – newcomers to this year’s list – for 95% of students scoring at the proficient or advanced levels on the benchmark exam in literacy and earning a GPA of 3.45. Congrats to Principal Jordan Price and all the staff at Hector High on their achievement!

We would also like to single out and congratulate Salem Elementary in the Bryant School district for earning a spot on Top 25 Elementary Schools in Arkansas Based on Benchmark Math and Literacy Achievement in this year’s OEP Awards…as well as last year’s OEP Awards. In fact, we featured Salem Elementary as one of the five high-achieving schools featured in our Spotlights on Success report in 2011. We congratulate the students and Principal Mark Scarlett and his staff on the school’s success over the past few years!!

Over the next few weeks, we will feature new lists of excellent schools in several other OEP Award categories. Stay tuned for our next installment where we highlight “Beating the Odds” schools – that is, those schools serving high percentages of economically disadvantaged students and attaining high levels of achievement. We’ll be releasing this next installment of OEP Awards later this month. Until then, congratulations to all the high performing elementary and middle schools!!!

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