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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

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. 

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 

Annual meeting for teams of legislators, policymakers, state board members, secondary and postsecondary education leaders, and workforce development agency representatives. Attendees explore policies and practices that help more young adults graduate prepare for postsecondary credentials and degrees and good jobs.

Arkansas attendees at SREB’s State Leaders Forum in December 2018: 10

A representative from the Arkansas Department of Career Education spoke at the forum.

SREB.org/LeadersForum>

    Educator Effectiveness

    Advises state and district leaders as they develop strategies to support the professional growth of teachers and principals.

    Technical Assistance

    From 2015-2018, SREB supported the development and implementation of Arkansas’ educator effectiveness strategy by funding the Arkansas Quest training for principals 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 in October 2018 to advise them on the development of the state’s educator evaluation system. SREB conducted focus groups with district administrators, principals and teachers.

    SREB produced a report in December 2018 for state department staff that shares site visit and focus group findings, as well as recommendations for improving the implementation of the state’s educator effectiveness strategy.

    Staff responded to a legislative request about tiered licensure in October 2018.

    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. State department staff met to discuss shared problems of practice in four areas: equitable access to effective teaching, leadership development, professional learning, and teacher voice.

    reports and data

    SREB produced the following resources for Arkansas leaders over the past year:

    Improving Educator Feedback and Support: Lessons from Eight States, February 2019, which shares a summary of technical assistance provided to half of the SREB states from 2015-2018.

    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.

    SREB.org/EE >

    Teacher Preparation

    SREB’s Teacher Preparation Commission met during 2016, 2017 and  2018 and published its final report and recommendations in late 2018.

    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.

    Arkansas’ College Affordability Profile 2018 reports that, on average, families needed 26 percent of family income was needed in 2015-16 to cover educational costs for a full-time student at the state’s public four-year comprehensive or regional universities and 17 percent at public two-year colleges.

    SREB convened state higher education agency executive officers in December 2018 to explore how SREB can best serve postsecondary agencies, discuss issues facing the states and solicit comments on our draft strategic plan. The executive director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education participated.

    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 featured the Arkansas Workforce Challenge Scholarship during an October 2018 meeting of legislative and governors’ office staff and assisted Arkansas state leaders who requested information on postsecondary issues such as need-based financial aid programs.

    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, including the President, visited Arkansas to meet with legislators and staff in 2018.

    Throughout 2018-19, legislators, legislative staff and governor’s staff from Arkansas requested assistance on topics including SREB compact membership fees.

    Meetings 

    Staff from 8 SREB states attended the 2018 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 2018 meetings of SREB’s Legislative Advisory Council and Legislative Work Conference. 

    SREB.org/StateServices >