Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 9 of 9

Full-Text Articles in Law

Nclb Waivers, Misty Newcomb, Gary W. Ritter Oct 2011

Nclb Waivers, Misty Newcomb, Gary W. Ritter

Policy Briefs

No Child Left Behind, or the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, is long overdue for reauthorization. Speculation concerning when and how this controversial act would be reauthorized has occurred throughout the Obama administration. In a somewhat surprising move last week, President Obama unilaterally created rules for NCLB waivers. This policy brief provides a brief background, followed by a discussion on the new NCLB flexibility and how these changes could affect schools in Arkansas.


Raising The Kindergarten Entry Age, Misty Newcomb, Gary W. Ritter Sep 2011

Raising The Kindergarten Entry Age, Misty Newcomb, Gary W. Ritter

Policy Briefs

In recent years, the standards in Arkansas for entry into kindergarten underwent changes that can be difficult to understand. Across the nation, states have increased the minimum age of entry into public schools, and Arkansas is no exception. Recently, a policymaker in our state asked the OEP to look into the research surrounding the question of raising the kindergarten entry age. This policy brief discusses the new requirements as well as the impact of these requirements on families and children in the short and long term by looking at recent changes in Arkansas law and studies concerning the effect of ...


When Districts Are Taken Over By The State, Nathan C. Jensen, Gary W. Ritter Aug 2011

When Districts Are Taken Over By The State, Nathan C. Jensen, Gary W. Ritter

Policy Briefs

Two types of state takeovers have been in the news this summer. The news extensively covered the state takeover of Helena-West Helena School District and Pulaski County Special School District due to fiscal issues. At their August meeting, State Board of Education members discussed amending the Academic Distress Rules in a manner that would more easily enable state takeovers on the basis of academic distress. This policy brief discusses the various classifications that might lead to a state takeover and the subsequent implications of such classifications. According to Arkansas law, namely The Omnibus Quality of Education Act of 2003, schools ...


2011 Arkansas Benchmark Test Results: District By District Scores, Nathan C. Jensen, Gary W. Ritter Jul 2011

2011 Arkansas Benchmark Test Results: District By District Scores, Nathan C. Jensen, Gary W. Ritter

Policy Briefs

One day after the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) released the results from the spring 2011 Arkansas Benchmark exams, the OEP received a call from a local constituent asking how districts in Northwest Arkansas compared to the rest of the state. Surprisingly, this type of question - often asked by educators, policymakers, researchers, parents, and concerned citizens - is not that easy to answer by simply glancing at the ADE-provided data. 1 Therefore, we put together a little policy brief to make the data more clearly understood.


Act 35, New School Performance Ratings, And School Choice, Nathan C. Jensen, Gary W. Ritter Mar 2011

Act 35, New School Performance Ratings, And School Choice, Nathan C. Jensen, Gary W. Ritter

Policy Briefs

Act 35 was a product of the Lakeview v Huckabee case and the related Extraordinary Legislative Session. The law § 6-15-2101 of the Arkansas code required the establishment of three school ratings: a rating of the school’s current academic performance (or status), a rating of the school’s academic improvement (see the OEP policy brief on the new improvement rating) 1 , and a rating based on the school’s fiscal practices. The first set of improvement scores were reported based on the standardized tests administered in spring of 2007 and 2008. The first ratings based on current academic performance are ...


The Case For Extended School Time In Arkansas, Nathan C. Jensen, Gary W. Ritter Mar 2011

The Case For Extended School Time In Arkansas, Nathan C. Jensen, Gary W. Ritter

Policy Briefs

There is growing discussion over the topic of extended learning opportunities throughout the state. For example, this past fall at the OEP conference in November, Arkansas Associctaion of Educational Administrators Director Richard Abernathy stated that additional instructional time may be needed in order to fulfill all the curricular requirements for schools. Citing the need for additional enrichment opportunities, a bill is making its way through the Arkansas Legislature to provide funding for after school and summer school programs. Additionally, and potentially of more consequence, is a bill sponsored by Senator David Johnson (D) of Little Rock to expand learning time ...


Big Changes In How Students Are Tested, Nathan C. Jensen, Gary W. Ritter Mar 2011

Big Changes In How Students Are Tested, Nathan C. Jensen, Gary W. Ritter

Policy Briefs

For the past decade, school accountability has relied on tests for which the essential format has remained unchanged. Educators are familiar with the yearly testing routine: schools are given curriculum frameworks, teachers use the frameworks to guide instruction, students take one big test at year’s end which relies heavily upon multiple-choice bubble items, and then school leaders wait anxiously to find out whether enough of their students scored at or above proficiency to meet state standards. All this will change with the adoption of Common Core standards. Testing and accountability aren’t going away. Instead, they are developing and ...


The Value Of Value-Added Measures, Nathan C. Jensen, Gary W. Ritter Feb 2011

The Value Of Value-Added Measures, Nathan C. Jensen, Gary W. Ritter

Policy Briefs

The concept of value-added measures of teacher or school effectiveness is prompting a great deal of discussion in K-12 Education policy circles. This debate reached a boiling point last year when the Los Angeles Times published a database of the value-added scores for all teachers in the nation's second largest school district. Proponents argue value-added measures provide important information on school and teacher effectiveness. Opponents argue value-added measures are imprecise instruments which measure student background instead of teacher or school quality. The purpose of this policy brief is to provide the reader with a general understanding of the concept ...


Quality Counts 2011, Nathan C. Jensen, Gary W. Ritter Jan 2011

Quality Counts 2011, Nathan C. Jensen, Gary W. Ritter

Policy Briefs

On January 11, Education Week released its 15 th annual Quality Counts report. Since 1997, Education Week has been releasing yearly report cards for each state and the nation as a whole. These report cards attempt to measure educational progress and success in several areas as well as assign an overall letter grade to each state. Some of the grades assigned in the report cards measure the strength of states’ policies, while others measure educational inputs (school funding, job markets) or outputs (K-12 achievement)