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Hot Topics in AR Education Reform: The UA Office for Education Policy Joshua Barnett, Ginny Blankenship, & Laura Israel Research In Progress Seminar Fall.

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Presentation on theme: "Hot Topics in AR Education Reform: The UA Office for Education Policy Joshua Barnett, Ginny Blankenship, & Laura Israel Research In Progress Seminar Fall."— Presentation transcript:

1 Hot Topics in AR Education Reform: The UA Office for Education Policy Joshua Barnett, Ginny Blankenship, & Laura Israel Research In Progress Seminar Fall 2005

2 Who Are We? OEP = one of many research and service units in COEHP Housed in new Department of Education Reform OEP Mission –to serve as a resource to aid state legislators, school board members, and other policymakers in thoughtful decision-making concerning K-12 education in the State of Arkansas. –In light of this mission, naturally, OEP has been following AR Ed Reform and trying to track resulting changes in state education.

3 AR Ed Policy Context Why is the state in constant reform? –Lake View Litigation and Decisions –2001, 2002, 2004, 2005? What did the AR legislature enact? –District Governance (consolidation) –Increased funding ($650M in 2 yrs) –Increased accountability (Act 35) Always Hovering – NCLB!

4 Current Topics What are the preliminary reports on: New funding formulae New accountability requirements New governance rules (consolidation) How are recent reforms related to funding and teacher quality being received by school administrators around the state? What is happening with new money? Is there quantity and quality of applicants for teaching positions? How is NCLB influencing the recruitment process of high quality teachers?

5 Funding Reforms New Funding Formulae: Pre-reform ( ): foundation = $4,700 Post-reform ( ): foundation = $5,400 Additional Categorical Funding No data on distribution of new $ as of today Accountability Regulations require: Both curriculum-based exams (ACTAAP) and nationally norm-referenced exams (ITBS) Schools rated for (1) Absolute performance level, (2) Score growth, and (3) Fiscal management Consequences for schools unable to meet standards (i.e., recent takeover in Helena) NCLB must be integrated with state-level rules Too early to talk about results

6 District Consolidation Special Legislative Session of : –School districts with fewer than 350 total students for 2 consecutive years must merge (administrative) –First option is voluntary merger –No school mergers in year 1 Results: –57 districts targeted for consolidation – = 308 districts – = 254 districts –Post = 11 high schools within merged districts were closed

7 District Consolidation Which schools closed? Receiving School (m=366)School closed (m=117) GreenlandWinslow High FoukeMcRae High BeebeCord-Charlotte High AugustHolly Grove High ClarendonGrady Campus Star CityGould High DumasLake View campus Barton-LexaMt. Holly High SmackoverArkansas City High McGeheeBright Star High Cedar RidgeCotton Plant High

8 High Schools Affected

9 District Consolidation Challenges with data collection: Incomplete data from ADE Compiling lists through newspaper and online searches Considerations: Only high school level data is currently available Future work: New list of consolidated schools will be available October 1 st from ADE Comparing the schools involved in consolidation with state-wide averages Policy brief on consolidation findings

10 Superintendent Survey How are districts using new funding increase? Is new categorical funding making a difference? Are superintendents satisfied with the quantity & quality of teachers hired over past 3 years? How impacted by NCLB?

11 Methods & Challenges Mailed surveys to 253 superintendents Mix of quantitative (scaled) & qualitative (open-response) questions Coded & analyzed qualitative data Survey Challenges –Low response rate: 34% (Representative? Short turnaround? Bad timing? Mailed vs. ed?) –Still following-up with non-respondents via e- mail & r ing surveys –Handling missing data & interpreting results –Don’t ask multiple-response questions!

12 Preliminary Results Potential problems with validity? To what extent do you agree with the following statements? Agree/ Strongly Agree Nearly all teachers who apply to work in my district are highly qualified. 85% My district has adequate funding to attract enough highly-qualified teachers. 32% The current funding level in my district is sufficient to provide an adequate education to all students. 31% A performance-pay system would help attract more highly-qualified teachers to our district. 40% The school from which teachers receive their degrees matters a great deal in our hiring. 25%

13 Qualified Applicants? Does this differ by discipline?

14 Impact of NCLB? How is the NCLB “highly-qualified teacher” requirement affecting teacher hiring in your district? Positive10% Negative32% Mixed/Too soon to tell13% No impact39% Is this surprising?

15 Superintendent Comments How are you using new funding? Professional development38% Hiring new teachers33% Increasing teacher salaries31% Instructional materials24% Hiring other staff (i.e., reading coaches)20% Other14% No new funding/Not enough provided9% Smaller class sizes8% New programs/classes7% Special needs students5%

16 Office for Education Policy For copies of our previous newsletters, working papers, and all other OEP research, check out our website: 202 Graduate Education Building


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