by Max Brantley
The largest increases occurred in grades 6 and 8 math and writing. Large gains occurred in writing for grades 4 through 8, with a 21.72 percent increase in grade 5. English Language Arts averages reflect statistically significant increases, particularly for grade 4. Large gains in writing could be attributed to an extension of time on the writing portion, schools adapting to the new online testing format, high-quality professional development and classroom instruction specifically in the area of writing.
“These results are a positive reflection of the work of our dedicated educators,” Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key said. “The increase in Arkansas’ scores can be attributed to the full implementation of the state’s rigorous education standards, high-quality professional development, and innovative and evidence-based teaching practices in the classroom that encourage student engagement and learning.”