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 profiles summarize each state’s progress on the recommendations through fall 2016.
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 May 2017, SREB published Benchmarking State Implementation of College- and Career-Readiness Standards: Alignment of Instructional Materials, a regional report that describes implementation across the states, highlights strong state efforts and recommends actions for improvement — plus profiles that describe each state’s efforts in detail, highlight notable actions and offer recommendations for moving forward.
The report notes Arkansas’s strong efforts in using data to continuously improve state efforts.
Project staff presented information on state efforts to align instructional materials, and state accountability systems under the Every Student Succeeds Act at SREB’s annual Meeting of Legislative and Governors’ Staff in September 2017. A stakeholder from Arkansas attended.
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 2016: 4
Advising 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, conducts needs assessments and focus groups to help states plan and evaluate implementation, spotlights inspiring stories of local practice and convenes stakeholders at regional meetings.
SREB partnered with the Arkansas Department of Education to support implementation of a statewide educator effectiveness strategy. The strategy expands leadership coaching to building administrators, creates opportunities for principals to learn with peers, and calls for a professional learning platform for teachers and leaders to demonstrate their instructional effectiveness. SREB staff visited the state department in December 2016 to support this strategy.
SREB conducted an educator focus group in Arkansas in May 2017.
In the last 12 months, SREB’s educator effectiveness team provided technical assistance, brokered expertise and policy and practice resources to Arkansas state legislators and their staff, state education agency staff, district administrators, principals and teachers.
A state team from Arkansas attended the SREB Teacher Evaluation meeting, Improving Educator Effectiveness: Lessons Learned, in November 2017. State teams included multiple stakeholders: state agency leaders, teacher association representatives, district superintendents, principals and classroom teachers.
Department staff attended a regional community of practice meeting following the multi-stakeholder meeting.
SREB staff presented information to attendees of the SREB Meeting of Legislative and Governors’ Staff in September 2017.
The Arkansas Department of Education sent representatives to SREB’s fifth annual educator effectiveness convening in March 2017. They participated in working sessions with peers from nine other SREB states.
Staff presented information on teacher preparation and teacher recruitment strategies at SREB’s Legislative Advisory Council winter meeting in December 2016.
reports and data
SREB produced resources for Arkansas leaders during the last 12 months including:
Evaluator Training: A Guide for States, September 2017, spotlighting seven components associated with effective training for observers of teachers.
Feedback on Teaching: A Fresh Look, July 2017, with strategies for district and school leaders to establish and sustain better feedback practices.
Student Surveys, A Fresh Look, May 2017, covering practical implications for state, district and school leaders seeking to use emerging student survey tools.
Information Request Series, beginning January 2017, with responses to stakeholders questions. Topics covered include educator evaluation, teacher certification, and principal recruitment and retention incentives.
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’s Teacher Preparation Commission met during 2016, 2017 and will meet in 2018 to develop practical and effective statewide recommendations to improve teacher preparation programs.
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 February 2017. In March, Whitten and Roebuck 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.
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.
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.
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 2017.
Throughout 2016-17, legislators, legislative staff and governors’ staff from Arkansas requested assistance on topics including open education resources, education data, education tax credits, computer science instruction and college completion.
SREB state services convenes legislative and governors’ staff from across the SREB region each fall to discuss topics that will likely be on agendas during upcoming legislative sessions. Arkansas staff were among those from 10 SREB states at the 2017 meeting.
SREB’s Legislative Advisory Council meets twice annually, once in the winter and again at the annual Legislative Work Conference. The conference is for legislators designated by their state leadership to attend. Arkansas legislators were among those in attendance at the 2017 conference.