University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy

Your Feedback is SOOO Important!

In The View from the OEP on May 24, 2017 at 12:51 pm

While most schools in Arkansas are winding down for summer break, here at the OEP we encourage all educators to give their feedback on an important plan that will impact the future of education in the state.

The ESSA Accountability Plan (draft #2) Feedback Due by June 23rd.

Seriously- read it and give your feedback.  This new draft includes details about school accountability models, including:

Long Term Goals of 90% achieving or exceeding grade level proficiency and 94% 4-year high school graduation rate and 97% for 5-year graduation rate.  The timeline for these goals is 12 years – that’s 2020 folks!


School Performance Rating that will consist of the following indicators:

  • Weighted Achievement (100 points possible with up to 25 extra possible points) Using Weighted Achievement for the academic indicator in the School Performance Rating honors stakeholder concerns that students at the upper end of the continuum of achievement (higher performers) are valued in the system so that schools will attend to their learning needs
  •  School Growth (100 possible points) Using Arkansas’ Value-Added Model
  •  English Learner progress to English Language Proficiency (100 possible points) Arkansas will transition this in
  •  Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate (100 points possible each)
    • 4‐year Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate
    • 5‐year Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate
  • School Quality and Student Success (100 possible points)


The ESSA Plan draft also includes a cool mockup of a Performance Report Dashboard (see below)!



Although each of the 5 areas is worth 100 points, some areas are weighted more heavily than others, and we are SO EXCITED to see that growth is weighted more heavily than proficiency/ achievement.  Here’s how the percentages would work, and note the differences based on ELL population size- if you have fewer than 15 ELL students, those points move to another area:

o1 ratings

The Minimum N size is 15 (this is down from the prior minimum N of 25).  Minimum N indicates how many students have to be in a subgroup for that group to ‘count’ in school accountability.  A lot of data was examined to determine the ‘best’ N size. In the past, larger schools were held accountable for more student groups, while smaller schools often didn’t have 25 students in many groups and so were not. With a minimum N of 15, more schools will be reporting performance for various student groups, and as you can see in the table below, at least 90% of students from all groups will be included in the school performance calculations.

Min N Students

Interim Progress Measures:  The ADE used prior year trends from 2005 to 2013 for evidence of realistic rates of improvement based on Arkansas’s population of students and previous school improvement efforts. Instead of making up interim targets that ‘sound good’, the new targets are based on ACTUAL previous school improvement.  While I may WANT to get to 100% proficient in one year, historical trends indicate that most schools improved about 3-4 percentage points in ELA and Math each year.  AND- get this- they aren’t yearly targets that schools must meet- but rather 3-year checkpoints to give schools feedback about it they are on track for meeting the 12 year goal.

Other Indicators of School Quality vary by grade span as presented in the table below, but include chronic absenteeism, percent Reading Ready by grade 3, percent Science Ready in Middle Schools, and percent of graduates with one or more AP/IB/Concurrent credits earned.

5th Indicators

Schools that aren’t on track aren’t ‘in trouble’- the idea is to give feedback, but some schools will be targeted for support.  The lowest 5% based on the school performance rating by grade span will be identified for the first time in 2018-19 and will get support for three years. After three years, new schools will be identified.

ADE is asking stakeholders for specific feedback on the following questions during the draft plan review period:

  1. Do stakeholders want ADE to create a “watch” category or “alert” category for schools that are just above the bottom 5% cutoff?
  2. For schools in the next 5%, should ADE notify LEAs of schools that are in this position/rank above 5% through 10% to empower districts to provide preventative support?

Please give your feedback to ADE by June 23rd! We need educator voices to be included If you have questions about aspects of the plan, or thoughts you would like to share- please comment below or email us at!


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