A new report from the Southern Regional Education Board credits Arkansas for doing a good job at getting kids in pre-K programs, but notes our continued low college completion rate. The report has other pluses and minuses:
Plus — some narrowing of the gap between black and white test scores.
Minus — some evidence that state benchmark tests are scored too easily in some cases, judging by scores in comparable subjects on national tests.
Here's a link to the full Arkansas report.
Key Arkansas findings, according to SREB:
Arkansas serves more than twice as many children in public prekindergarten as it has children in poverty, helping more of its neediest children get ready for school.
Arkansas's black fourth-graders narrowed the achievement gap in reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress from 2003 to 2009 - and its black eighth-graders did in math.
Arkansas's high school curriculum includes the recommended essential core of courses and requires students to complete either an academic or career concentration.
Student participation in Advanced Placement courses in Arkansas exceeded the national rate.
Arkansas topped the U.S. rate of secondary teachers who were "highly qualified."
The state's percent of "dropout factory" high schools was low compared with the nation.
Arkansas topped most SREB states in enrolling young adults in adult education courses.