University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy

What Data Are Available and How You Can Access It

In The View from the OEP on May 30, 2014 at 9:39 am

How does X school compare in relation to other schools in the district or state? How many students attend X school? How many disciplinary infractions occur at X school? How many teachers are at X school? What are the demographics of the students and teachers at X school?

Have you found yourself asking those questions – or others? If so, continue reading as we share with you where you can find this information and much more about Arkansas’ schools and districts.

Earlier this spring, we released a blog post highlighting Arkansas’ New Assistant Commissioner and Chief Information Officer, Cody Decker. In the blog post, we alluded to Arkansas’ rich K-12 data systems that allow for sound decision-making at the classroom, school, district, and state levels. However, we have a hunch that many Arkansans do not know as much about our schools as they would like. Therefore, the purpose of this blog post is to provide information on Arkansas’ K-12 data systems for those who may not work in schools on a daily basis, including parents, policymakers, researchers, and others.

Arkansas Department of Education Data Systems

To access a number of Arkansas’ data systems, the ADE Data Center is your hub! It is maintained by the ADE Division of Research and Technology. It hosts A LOT of systems – but we will highlight a few that may be of interest and use to you:

Arkansas School Performance Report Cards

In April, the ADE released the 2013 Arkansas School Performance Report Cards. The downloadable report cards are available for districts and schools.

  • Data include: Student enrollment, attendance, and demographics; Benchmark exam performance (Grades 3 – 8); End-of-Course exam performance; Iowa Test of Basic Skills performance; ACT and SAT performance; AP exam performance; School Improvement and Accountability statuses; graduation, retention, and dropout figures; college remediation rates; student discipline figures; teacher quality information; school choice counts; and school funding information.

Previous School Performance Reports can be found under the Archived Reports Center.

During the 2013 General Assembly, Act 696 was passed and requires the state to establish a new school rating system. After the 2014-15 school year, the state will release report cards based on an A-F rating system. In the months to come, as we learn more about what this rating system will look like, we will provide more information to you.

Statewide Information System Reports

While the report cards provide a lot of data on a district or school, they do not allow you to easily compare the state’s schools and districts. Therefore, the Statewide Information System Reports are available and provide downloadable spreadsheets at the state, county, district, and school levels. The data are reported over time, and most of the datasets stretch back to the 2004-05 school year.

  • Datasets include: Enrollment and attendance counts; school choice and magnet school enrollment; teacher and personnel counts and teacher demographics; student discipline figures; graduation, retention, and dropouts/withdrawal figures; free-and-reduced lunch counts; pre-school figures; school bus information; and finance information

Additionally, if you would like more information about K-12 data that the state collects, you can check out the: Statewide Information System Data Dictionary/Handbook. The dictionary/handbook provides a comprehensive list of all data collected on Arkansas’ students, educators, schools, and districts.

Additional School and District Performance Data

To access and compare school and district performance data, you can check out two other places:

Parents – Do you know how to learn about your child’s performance?

The state uses TRIAND as the official transcript system for schools and districts. Parents, you can access a code at your school that will allow you to log into TRIAND for your student. Under this log-in, you can access a student’s transcript, current course schedule, and Smart Core status. Talk with your school for more details regarding TRIAND.

We hope that this blog post provides you with resources to learn more about Arkansas’ school and districts; and if you have a student in the K-12 system, hopefully, you now know how to access information about their progress. We look forward to providing you with more helpful blog posts in the future!

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