ARKANSAS K-12 EDUCATION: NEW SITE INCREASES TRANSPARENCY
An example of transparency is a new site (http://www.schoolresults.org/) that provides information on the Arkansas K-12 public education system.
The site provides citizens with information about Arkansas student performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), Nation's Report Card. The site presents information by state, school district and school for the following categories:
* NAEP Grade 4 Reading
To illustrate how the site operates, clicking on “Arkansas” and “State” provides the following results:
2003 Quick Facts
The site provides data for comparisons to other states. For example, clicking on “Minnesota” and “State” provides the following results:
Information about school districts is also presented on the site but is incomplete. NAEP proficiency data for the Little Rock School District is not presented although the percentage of economically disadvantaged students (55.4%) is listed on the site. The following disclaimer is presented when searching to review the Little Rock District’s AYP status:
“Data are continuing to be compiled. As soon as this information becomes available, we will display, analyze and allow it to be used in comparisons on this website as appropriate. “
The site explains, “In order for a school district to achieve Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) each student subgroup must meet the performance targets established by the state.” The federal No Child Left Behind Act requires each state to define Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for districts and schools “to ensure that all students are proficient in reading and math by 2014. Each state sets an annual AYP target that indicates the minimum percentage of students that must achieve grade level standards in math and reading in order for the school and district to make AYP.” No Child Left Behind requires if “a school or district that receives federal Title I funding (money designated for improving the performance of disadvantaged students) does not make AYP for two or more consecutive years, it will undergo improvement options outlined in the No Child Left Behind Act. Schools or districts that do not receive Title I funding do not have to take these same actions, but will face state designed improvement activities,” according to the site.
Standard & Poor's created the site (http://www.schoolresults.org/), which includes interactive analytical tools from Standard & Poor's School Evaluation Services and the National Center for Educational Accountability's Just for the Kids. The site displays data for schools, districts and states that is required to be reported under No Child Left Behind.
The Broad Foundation and U.S. Department of Education are funding the transparency initiative.