(From ADE press release) The US Department of Education announced that Arkansas is one of five more states to be granted flexibility from some long-standing requirements of No Child Left Behind. Under the ruling, Arkansas will reward some schools for exemplary performance and improvement and distribute targeted resources to help persistently struggling schools. The state’s plan for flexibility under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) runs parallel with the implementation of college and career ready learning standards and efforts to strengthen educator evaluation.
Education Commissioner Dr. Tom Kimbrell is grateful for the flexibility Secretary Duncan has given the state to provide stronger tools to improve schools. “This flexibility allows Arkansas to evaluate schools in terms of performance, growth and graduation rate,” said Kimbrell. “We are not turning our back on accountability. With our new system of accountability, support and intervention, we will focus on specific problems unique to each public school in Arkansas.”
The state’s goal is to ensure all students graduate from high school ready for success in college or a career. This flexibility is one step closer to fulfilling the goal of a better educated workforce. Arkansas’s application and related documents can be found here. Find key points in Arkansas's flexibility plan here.