University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy

Outstanding Educational Performance Awards: High Growth Elementary Schools

In The View from the OEP on May 23, 2018 at 1:04 pm

UA Achievement Awards 2017 BEST GROWTH ELAUA Achievement Awards 2017 BEST GROWTH MATH

Here at the OEP  we are excited to celebrate the highest-growth schools across the state in our 2016-17 Outstanding Educational Performance Awards (also known as the OEP Awards)!

This year, the OEP Awards highlight schools in Arkansas based on student growth on the ACT Aspire exams in mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA). Growth is calculated at the student level, and essentially reflects how much a student improved his or her score from the prior year compared to what was predicted based on prior achievement history.

We celebrate the state using this student-level growth model, and are pleased to be able to highlight how students are growing academically in schools across the state.  We hope that drawing attention to the growth information will spark discussions among stakeholders about how to ensure all schools are growing the knowledge of Arkansas students.

We choose to give OEP Awards based on student growth because we think it is a better reflection of how the school is impacting students rather than proficiency rates.  Proficiency rates, even those that move beyond the ‘percent proficient’ like our OEP GPA and Arkansas’ weighted achievement score, are more correlated with student demographics than growth scores. This means that schools are equally as likely to demonstrate high student growth regardless of the characteristics of the students that they serve.

How are OEP awards different?

There are many lists of “Best Schools”, so why is the OEP’s list special?  It’s simple- we use the most recent assessment data and focus on student growth.  We examine growth specifically by content area, because we think it is important to examine each subject separately and without including the English Proficiency progress for English Language Learners (which should also be examined separately).  Another difference is that unlike the state performance awards that were given out a few months ago, OEP awards are grouped by school level (Elementary, Middle, and High) and by Region (Northwest, Northeast, Central, Southwest, and Southeast).

We celebrate two types of schools this year: “High-Growth” and “Beating the Odds”.  High Growth schools are those whose students demonstrated the highest growth on the ACT Aspire tests, and “Beating the Odds” are the highest growth schools serving low-income communities.

Today’s awards for High Growth elementary schools are based on the growth of elementary students on the ACT Aspire Math and English Language Arts assessments.

Highest Growth: Elementary Level

The top elementary school for overall student growth is Salem Elementary from Salem School District, with a growth score of 89.66.  Pottsville Elementary from Pottsville School District had the highest math growth with a score of 93.65, while Greenbrier Wooster Elementary from Greenbrier School District had the highest growth in ELA at 91.20.

The top 20 elementary schools for overall content growth are:

1. Salem Elementary, Salem SD (67% FRL)
2. Greenbrier Springhill Elementary, Greenbrier SD (41% FRL)
3. Central Elementary, Batesville SD (66% FRL)
4. Willowbrook Elementary, Bentonville SD (15% FRL)
5. Green Forest Elementary, Green Forest SD (84% FRL)
6. Greenbrier Wooster Elementary, Greenbrier SD (48% FRL)
7. John Tyson Elementary, Springdale SD (77% FRL)
8. City Heights Elementary, Van Buren SD (59% FRL)
9. Pottsville Elementary, Pottsville SD (52% FRL)
10. Bismarck Elementary, Bismarck SD (69% FRL)
11. Eastside Elementary, Cabot SD (34% FRL)
12. Cavanaugh Elementary, Fort Smith SD (65% FRL)
13. Hunt Elementary, Springdale SD (45% FRL)
14. Don Roberts Elementary, Little Rock SD (33% FRL)
15. Bernice Young Elementary, Springdale SD (22% FRL)
16. Westside Elementary, Searcy SD (40% FRL)
17. Jones Elementary, Rogers SD (84% FRL)
18. Oscar Hamilton Elementary, Foreman SD (73% FRL)
19. Sonora Elementary, Springdale SD (70% FRL)
20. Crestwood Elementary, North Little Rock SD (32% FRL)

We were pleased to see a variety of schools on our list of those demonstrating such high student growth. We included the percentage of students in the school who participate in the Free/Reduced Lunch program (due to low household income) to demonstrate why we like to talk about growth!  The percentage of students eligible for FRL among these high-growth schools ranges from a low of 15% to a high of 84%, reflecting how growth is possible for all types of schools!  You can find the elementary schools with the greatest student growth by subject and region in the full report.

———-Stay tuned to learn about more OEP Award Winners!——–

Next week we will share “High Growth” Middle level schools, followed by High Schools, and then we will release the list of high growth schools serving high poverty populations, those who are “Beating the Odds!”

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