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Goals for Education | Monitoring State Policies

Monitoring and reporting to assist education leaders and policymakers as they shape public policy. SREB tracks trends and analyzes the progress of all 16 SREB states in each area in the Challenge to Lead 2020 Goals for Education and provides Legislative Reports that detail legislative and budget actions in each state.

SREB’s new Insights data tool allows leaders to explore actions across states, delve into a topic for a deeper understanding or select a detailed state report.

College and Career Readiness

Intensive work to help states implement essential components of SREB’s recommendations for statewide college and career readiness. These include assessing high school juniors to determine their progress toward the state’s readiness standards — and requiring those who are underprepared to take transitional courses in 12th grade.

SREB.org/Readiness >

Benchmarking Implementation of College- and Career-Readiness Standards 

Tracking and reporting progress on implementation of college- and career-readiness standards and related reforms across states. Based on this research, SREB staff support these states through reports, meetings and technical assistance.

In September 2017, SREB staff presented information on state efforts to redesign state accountability systems under the Every Student Succeeds Act at SREB’s annual Meeting of Legislative and Governors’ Staff. One stakeholder from Arkansas attended.

Readiness in New State Accountability Systems

SREB’s Benchmarking team distilled key elements of SREB’s states’ accountability systems under the Every Student Succeeds Act into interactive profiles at Insights.SREB.org.

PUBLICATIONS

In January 2018 SREB published a set of reports on the redesign of state accountability systems. Profiles on each state describe how the state established expectations for increasing college and career readiness and also include the state’s long-term goals, school performance indicators, framework for differentiating school performance, and system of identification and support for struggling schools. An introduction to trends across states offers recommendations for making the new systems effective tools for continuous improvement.

Arkansas’s profile notes the state’s effort to raise expectations for college and career readiness through its school performance indicators.

Meetings 

SREB staff presented information on state efforts to redesign state accountability systems at SREB’s Annual Meeting in June 2017 and at the Legislative Advisory Council Meeting in November 2017. Eighteen stakeholders from Arkansas attended.

Insights.SREB.org >

Career and Technical Education 

State Leaders Forum 

Arkansas attendees at SREB’s State Leaders Forum on policies for high-quality career and technical education in November 2017: 5

    SREB.org/CTE >

    Educator Effectiveness

    Advises state and district leaders as they develop strategies to support the professional growth of teachers and principals. SREB serves as a technical advisor to state education agencies, spotlights inspiring stories of local practice and convenes stakeholders at regional meetings.

    Technical Assistance

    SREB supported the development and implementation of Arkansas’ educator effectiveness strategy by funding the Arkansas Quest Principal trainings and an online professional learning platform for teachers and leaders to demonstrate their instructional effectiveness.

    SREB staff met with state department staff in Little Rock for two days in December 2017 to advise them on the development of their teacher evaluation systems. SREB produced a report for state department staff that shared site visit and focus group findings, as well as recommendations for improving the implementation of the state’s educator effectiveness strategy.

    convenings

    The state department sent representatives to SREB’s Sixth Annual Educator Effectiveness Convening in April 2018. They participated in collaborative working sessions with peers from 12 SREB states.

    SREB staff presented on innovative ways to expand student access to high-quality instruction to state lawmakers who attended SREB’s Legislative Advisory Council Winter Meeting in November 2017.

    A state team from Arkansas attended SREB’s teacher evaluation meeting, Improving Educator Effectiveness: Lessons Learned, in November 2017. Multiple stakeholder groups attended, including state agency leaders, teacher association representatives, district superintendents, principals and classroom teachers.

    Department staff attended a regional meeting with their state agency peers from other SREB states in November 2017 following SREB’s teacher evaluation meeting. State department staff in charge of educator development issues met to discuss shared problems of practice in four areas: equitable access to effective teaching, leadership development, professional learning, and teacher voice.

    SREB staff presented on teacher shortages at the SREB Meeting of Legislative and Governors’ Staff in September 2017.

    reports and data

    SREB produced the following resources for Arkansas leaders during the last 12 months:

    School Is My Happy Place, May 2018, which showcases the innovative strategies used to develop a positive school culture at an elementary school in central Florida.

    Mentoring New Teachers: A Fresh Look, January 2018, which proposes three action areas for states, districts and schools to support the development of novice educators and their mentors.

    Evaluator Training: A Guide for States, September 2017, which spotlights seven components associated with effective training for observers of teachers.

    Feedback on Teaching: A Fresh Look, July 2017, which features strategies for district and school leaders to establish and sustain better feedback practices.

    Information Request Series, shares SREB responses to stakeholder questions on topics including educator evaluation, teacher certification, and principal recruitment and retention issues.

    Educator Effectiveness Bill Tracker interactive tool, updated weekly to allow constituents to track legislative bills across eight areas, including teacher preparation, evaluation and professional learning.

    A bi-weekly educator effectiveness e-newsletter.

    SREB.org/EE >

    Teacher Preparation

    SREB’s Teacher Preparation Commission met during 2016, 2017 and  2018 and will will publish its final recommendations to improve teacher preparation programs in late 2018.

    To share the Commission’s work and solicit input, SREB Commission members Johnnie Roebuck, Donnie Whitten and Teresa Inman, and SREB Board member Joyce Elliott, met with Arkansas deans of education in Little Rock in 2017. Whitten and Roebuck also met with education faculty members at Henderson State University and Ouachita Baptist University.

    The Commission published its first report, More than the Numbers: Teacher Preparation Data Systems State Policy and Recommendations, in September 2017. 

    Postsecondary Education

    Affordability 

    SREB’s Commission on College Affordability in the South recommended policies and practices to keep college costs within reach of all students. In addition to the Commission’s report, policymakers can draw on updated regional and individual state affordability profiles to understand how costs impact families at different income levels, and on a Promising State Policies and Practices report featuring cost reduction strategies.

    interstate Passport 

    A framework to accelerate and streamline transfer of lower-division courses among institutions in different states. 

    Arkansas is one of three SREB states participating by reviewing learning outcomes for the Passport framework.

    SREB assisted Arkansas state leaders who requested information on postsecondary issues such as placement cut scores.

    State Services

    Connects policymakers to custom information, presentations and assistance on education issues as they arise. Leaders in member states are encouraged to contact SREB for data, analysis and advice.

    SREB staff visited Arkansas to meet with legislators and staff, and attend committee meetings in 2018.

    Meetings 

    Arkansas staff were among those from 10 SREB states at the 2017 meeting of legislative and governors’ staff to discuss topics that will likely be on agendas during upcoming legislative sessions.

    Arkansas legislators were among those in attendance at the 2017 meetings of SREB’s Legislative Advisory Council and Legislative Work Conference. 

    SREB.org/StateServices >