ARKANSAS A LEADER: But needs improvement in achievement.

  • Education Week
  • ARKANSAS A LEADER: But needs improvement in achievement.

Bound by one of those stupid embargoes some national groups still persist in using that favor dead-tree publications, I couldn’t release until this morning Education Week’s annual ranking that again puts Arkansas No. 5 among the stats on a group of education measures.

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Achievement? We still score a D. (The state avoided repeating that letter grade in its characterization of the report, choosing instead to say we scored “just below the national average” in its news release distributed late last night.)

It is not excuse, but fact, that achievement here, there and everywhere invariably tracks family income and prior education. (Arkansas is a poor state, in case you didn’t know.) What we want to know is where schools have defied that pattern. To my knowledge — though individual teachers and schools and even some small school districts have been outliers — nobody has yet developed a replicable solution on a broad scale. Certainly not charter schools or private schools, in case you wondered.

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But we try. And we should try. And where the state can exert some positive influence on elements that guide the effort and do it as well as, or better than, others, good.

State news release follows on jump. Here’s a link to the Education Week report. The publication also has taken a look at school safety and discipline this year.

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