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Little Rock School District looks to join CAPS Network

Little Rock School District looks to join CAPS Network

To support and accelerate the planning for what he intends to call the “Excel” career development program, Superintendent Mike Poore wants the Little Rock School District to join the Center for Advanced Professional Studies Network of school districts.

About two dozen districts in nine states are part of the network, which enables them to share training and best practices, making it possible for students to access industry standards and tools in the career fields, as well as mentors, to solve real-world problems.

Poore has asked Arkansas Education Commissioner Johnny Key, who acts as the school board in the state-controlled Little Rock district, to approve the district’s membership in the network at an initial cost of $2,500 and an ongoing membership fee of $1,500 a year.

The only Arkansas district that is currently a network member is the Bentonville School District, where Poore was previously superintendent for five years. He led efforts there to start that district’s “Ignite” career development program.

Other schools in the national network are in Arizona, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Utah and Wisconsin.

Arkansas ranks 43 in national survey

Arkansas ranked 43rd, receiving an overall grade of C- and a score of 69.8 out of 100, in the newly released 2017 Quality Counts evaluation of education in the nation and in the states.

That is below the national overall grade of C and score of 74.2 out of 100, which is down from 74.4 in 2016.

In 2016, Arkansas also had a score of 69.8 and a C-. At that time, Arkansas ranked 40th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Education Week, a national publication on elementary and secondary schooling, annually publishes the Quality Counts report card on the status of education.

The scoring for the latest report was done in three categories: Chance for Success, which is a measure of education-related opportunities for infants through adulthood; school finance; and kindergarten-through-12th-grade student achievement.

In the Chance for Success category, Arkansas received a score of 71.6, or a C-. Within that category the state received a score of 75.5 for early foundations for education success, 70.6 for school and college enrollment, and 68.5 for post-secondary educational attainment and workforce participation.

In the achievement category — which focuses on reading and math achievement, graduation and Advanced Placement test results — the state received a score of 66, which is a D.

Within that category, the state received an F, or a score of 53.4, for current achievement levels, a score of 66.9 for improvement in achievement over time, and an 86.4, or a B, in regard to equity or the narrow width of the achievement gap between low-income students and more affluent students.

The school finance category netted a 71.7 score, or a C-, for the state. That is the result of an 85.6 score for equitable distribution across districts and 57.7, or an F, for spending patterns.

Massachusetts earned the top score nationally — 88.5, a B. States scoring below Arkansas were Arizona, Alabama, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Idaho, New Mexico, Mississippi and Nevada.

Metro on 01/08/2017