Washington U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today announced the approval of Arkansas' consolidated state plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
"Arkansas' plan met the requirements of the law, and so I am happy to approve it," said Secretary DeVos. "This plan should not be seen as a ceiling, but as a foundation upon which Arkansas can improve education for its students."
Allowing states more flexibility in how they deliver education to students is at the core of ESSA. Each state crafted a plan that it feels will best offer educational opportunities to meet the needs of the state and its students.
The following are some of the unique elements from Arkansas' approved plan as highlighted by the state:
Emphasizes student growth alongside student achievement by providing significant weight in its accountability system for growth in academic achievement.
Developed a School Quality and Student Success indicator informed by stakeholder feedback that combines multiple measures across various domains, including engagement, access, readiness, completion and success.
"Arkansas' student-focused plan reflects the collaboration, input and valuable feedback provided by Arkansas stakeholders," said Arkansas Commissioner of Education Johnny Key. "The plan places an emphasis on growth, with greater weighting in the accountability measure, as well as a commitment to equity for all students. We are excited about the opportunity to continue collaborating with stakeholders when the plan is implemented in the 2018-2019 school year."