Grassroots Arkansas has reviewed this 56 page report. It is unclear from the report what actual improvements the Little Rock School District, particularly the six schools that were designated as being in “academic distress,” achieved as a direct result of the Little Rock School District being under the control of the Arkansas Department of Education. While it is true that McClellan and J.A. Fair were removed from the classification of Academic Distress this past school year as a result of overall standardized test result improvements that were averaged over the past three years using a statistical concordance process, it is unclear from this report that these schools were able to exit the classification of Academic Distress as a direct result of any specific efforts by the Arkansas Department of Education in assisting these schools in doing so. What is clear is that the Arkansas Department of Education continues to administer the district without a distinct long-term plan on how to improve it, particularly when it comes to unserved student populations. This continues a long tradition by the leadership of the Little Rock School District to not provide adequate plans for how that district should be run. That is why Grassroots Arkansas believes the State Board of Education should immediately return the Little Rock School District to a locally elected school board. This would allow for the community to elect local leaders who can create a distinct long-term vision for the District that can make actual progress on the problems it faces. We hope that the Board will take our assessment of this report, and the request for local control, to heart and move to return the district immediately.You can read the state report here.