Curriculum and School Improvement


Advanced Career

A new approach to career and technical education that combines college-readiness academics with hands-on, project-based assignments focused on modern careers. Advanced Career helps prepare students for as many options as possible after high school: a high-value job, college, community college or technical school. 

Arkansas participation in AC programs for 2017-18:

  • Innovations in Science and Technology: 1 school
  • Integrated Production Technologies: 1 school
  • Teachers trained: 1

Donald Westerman of Fountain Lake Charter High School in Hot Springs, was honored in July 2017 with an Outstanding Advanced Career Administrator award.

High Schools That Work

The nation’s largest school improvement program. HSTW strategies transform high schools into places where all students master complex academic and technical concepts. More than 1,150 schools in 30 states use the framework, its six design features and nine key practices, to raise student achievement and graduation rates.

Arkansas is a member of the High Schools That Work state network: 14 schools were active in 2016-17. >

Making Middle Grades Work

Engages state, district and school leaders in partnerships with teachers, students, parents and the community to raise student achievement in the middle grades. In addition to workshops and school visits, SREB links schools to professional development resources they need. The network includes over 650 schools in 20 states.

Arkansas schools active in 2016-17: 6 >​

Readiness Courses:
Math Ready and Literacy Ready

Courses specifically designed to help underprepared students succeed in the next phase of education. 

Ready for college

Courses to teach young adults the reading, writing and math skills they must have to succeed in college. They are taught in an engaging way that leads students to learn and think independently, read for information and solve problems.

Over 50 teachers were trained in SREB’s Readiness Courses in 2017, and over 100 high schools have implemented Literacy Ready and Math Ready to date. Selected schools in Arkansas are piloting the Ready for High School courses in the 2017-18 school year.

SREB compared ACT scores of about 550 students in Arkansas and Mississippi to their scores before they took the courses. At Little Rock Central High School, two-thirds of the 94 students with before- and after- ACT scores improved their math score; 61 percent improved their science score; and 69 percent improved their ACT composite score. The typical gains: two or more points in math, three or more points in science, and two or more points on the composite. 


In July 2017, Phil Wesson of Sheridan High School was honored with the Outstanding Math Ready Teacher award.

In July 2016, SREB honored two Arkansas teachers with Outstanding Literacy Ready Teacher awards for their roles in helping Arkansas schools adopt Literacy Ready.

  • Jennifer Garner, Lakeside High School, played an integral role in the creation of Literacy Ready and its implementation across the nation, serving as a teacher, writer, mentor and master trainer.
  • Dana Smith, Fountain Lake Charter High School, has taught Literacy Ready since its pilot, and served as trainer and mentor to help implement Literacy Ready in schools across the nation. 

Arkansas was an early adopter of transitional courses thanks to state legislation.

Ready for high school

New courses for the transition from middle grades to high school. Underprepared students take the classes in eighth or ninth grade.

Arkansas is one of five states piloting Ready for High School Literacy and Ready for High School Math in the 2016-17 school year. Arkansas teachers also participated in developing, field testing and reviewing the new courses. >

Technology Centers That Work

Helps shared-time centers produce high-demand, high-wage graduates. SREB provides staff development, technical assistance, publications and assessment services. The network includes almost 196 sites in 18 states.

Active centers in Arkansas in 2016-7: 9 >

Counseling for Careers

Awakens students to career goals and connects them to the high school and postsecondary programs of study to succeed in them. SREB offers workshops, materials and coaching for districts, schools and technology centers, which then involve teachers, counselors, administrators, parents and community partners.

SREB is providing ongoing professional development and coaching to Fountain Lake School District and the Harrison School District in 2017-18.