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137 Schools Improve, Receive Achieving Status

Associated Press (11/06/13)

The Arkansas Department of Education has announced that 137 public schools in the state were designated as Achieving under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, having shown significant improvement in tests scores to meet annual targets. The department says four schools moved from the Needs Improvement Priority designation to Achieving, and another 14 moved to the Achieving list from the Needs Improvement Focus list. State Education Commissioner Tom Kimbrell says, "These 18 schools have shown significant improvement over the last two years, thanks to the hard work and dedication of students, teachers, and administrators. The continuing implementation of Common Core State Standards will aid in these efforts." Schools are classified as Achieving if they meet their Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs) for both the All Students and Targeted Achievement Gap groups for either performance or growth for two consecutive years, with high schools also required to meet the performance and graduation rate goals. Kimbrell says, "The target increases each year, making it more challenging for schools to meet their AMOs. Educators are encouraged to continue to identify effective teaching and learning strategies to help all students reach proficiency." The state's 2013 accountability results can be viewed here.
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