University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy

Outstanding Educational Performance: High Growth Elementary Schools

In The View from the OEP on November 7, 2018 at 10:26 am

Here at the OEP we are excited to celebrate the highest-growth schools across the state in our 2017-18 Outstanding Educational Performance Awards (also known as the OEP Awards)!

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 has 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 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 demographic characteristics, such as eligibility for the federal Free/Reduced Lunch program, 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 the OEP awards different?

Simple- OEP Awards are based 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 last week, 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 Center Valley Elementary from Russellville School District, with a growth score of 90.55. City Heights Elementary from Van Buren School District had the highest Math growth with a score of 93.65, while Center Valley Elementary also obtained the highest growth score in ELA at 91.20.

The top 20 elementary schools for overall content growth are:

  1. Center Valley Elementary, Russellville SD (47% FRL)
  2. City Heights Elementary, Van Buren SD (62% FRL)*
  3. Greenbrier Springhill Elementary, Greenbrier SD (41% FRL)*
  4. Crawford Elementary, Russellville SD (89% FRL)
  5. Greenbrier Wooster Elementary, Greenbrier SD (43% FRL)*
  6. Salem Elementary, Salem SD (65% FRL)*
  7. Sequoyah Elementary, Russellville SD (43% FRL)
  8. Bismarck Elementary, Bismarck SD (71% FRL)*
  9. Oscar Hamilton Elementary, Foreman SD (74% FRL)*
  10. Parson Hills Elementary, Springdale SD (95% FRL)
  11. John Tyson Elementary, Springdale SD (77% FRL)*
  12. Cross County Elementary Tech Academy, Cross County SD (73% FRL)
  13. Genoa Central Elementary, Genoa Central SD (47% FRL)
  14. Des Arc Elementary, Des Arc SD (69% FRL)
  15. Monitor Elementary, Springdale SD (84% FRL)
  16. Eastside Elementary, Cabot SD (35% FRL)*
  17. Sonora Elementary, Springdale SD (74% FRL)*
  18. Cavanaugh Elementary, Fort Smith SD (60% FRL)*
  19. Hunt Elementary, Springdale SD (44% FRL)*
  20. Pottsville Elementary, Pottsville SD (53% FRL)*

*Schools with an asterisk were also on the top 20 list last year! Over half of the schools on our list- demonstrate that high growth can be achieved year after year. These are schools that are consistently growing student’s academic performance more than would be expected. Way to go!

Similarly to last year’s list, a variety of schools have shown high growth when observed through the lens of the percentage of students served Free/Reduced Lunch. The proportion of students eligible for FRL among these high-growth schools ranges from a low of 35% to a high of 95%, 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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