Texarkana Arkansas School District Report Card Report

 

I am educated but not an educator. The measurement standards and methods used with respect to the education needs of our children, regardless of race and socio-economic status, seem to be in a state of confusion and/or ineffectiveness.

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The following analysis of the below listed data table was initially written in 2016.  It is therefore based on the 2010-2016 report card data for the Texarkana Arkansas School District (TASD).  Click the following links for report card data as published by the Arkansas Department of Education: 2010-2013 data, 2012-2015 data, 2013-2016 data.  The 2017 report card data for the TASD may be found here.  I have updated the below table to include the 2017 data; however, I have not yet updated the analysis to consider 2017 data but only through 2016.  A cursory examination of the 2017 data indicates that the 2017 data would not change the fundamental analysis concerning method and relatively low-performing education results.

I noticed that for school year 2014-2015 there seems to have been a major change in testing in literacy and math.

I also noticed the change in rating terminology. I equate proficient/advanced with met/exceeded and ready/exceeding for purposes of my comparison.

I noticed for example the 3rd Grade Literacy proficient/advanced rate changed from 68.20 (2013-2014) to 29.58 (2014-2015).

Also, the 3rd Grade Math proficiency rate changed from 76.1 (2013-2014) to 29.26 (2014-2015).

Since literacy (ability to read and write) necessities and math necessities have not changed since I graduated in 1974 the most likely reason for the drop is a change in testing.

Therefore, the problem seems to not be with the children but rather with the adults inability to decide on what is necessary for the children to know and therefore be taught at each grade level.

Since the rates indicate only 30% of 3rd graders are literate, does that mean 70% of 3rd graders are retained in 3rd grade.  If not, what is the point of the proficiency rating?  But then maybe the ratings are more about the ability of the adults to teach rather than the ability of the children to learn.  Here I use the phrase ability of the adults to teach not just in reference to the classroom teacher but also to local, state and Federal level staff/administrators, and politicians, etc.

This is not to degrade TASD because I am confident that similar observations can be made about many other if not all school districts in America.  Moreover, I am aware that much of the problem has to do with mandates passed down from state and/or federal level.

In analyzing the below numbers, one readily sees a major drop in the percentage of students obtaining proficiency in literacy and math.

A fundamental question is why the percentage of students that met or exceeded proficiency/expectations drastically changed between 2010-2011 school year and 2015-2016 school year as indicated below.

Missing number in a column means no data was provided in the reports.

TASD 2010-2017 Report Card Table Extract

Percentage of Students Obtaining Rating of Met/Proficient or Advanced/Exceeded 

Grade2010-20112011-20122012-20132013-20142014-20152015-20162016-2017
3rd Grade Literacy64.2367.2182.2868.2029.5830.0533.43
3rd Grade Math64.9467.8688.9276.1029.2642.6252.28
7th Grade Literacy64.2367.2166.6762.3011.9038.6042.42
7th Grade Math64.9467.8656.0452.006.7731.2330.30
10th Grade Literacy29.9642.0244.85
10th Grade Math73.7115.1614.92

My basic questions are:

  1. What changed between 2010 and 2016 in the home, church, and workplace that resulted in such drastic differences especially considering the major drop in 2014-2015 school year?
  2. Was the only change in the school system?
  3. Is the school system change solely based on some notion that the schools were not preparing the students for the real world?
  4. If so, what changed so drastically in the home, church, and workplace that the schools were no longer preparing the students for the home, church, and workplace?
  5. I mean what changed in real terms not in theoretical terms?
  6. As a matter of fact what changed so drastically in K-12 between 1974 when I graduated and 2016 that my literacy and math education were not sufficient for the current real world? I graduated from Texarkana Arkansas Senior High School in 1974. Indeed, my literacy and math education obtained prior to and including 1974 enabled me to earn a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science in 1986 going to night school while in the US Army.  My Computer Science emphasis was on computer programming/coding.  I mention coding because coding seems to be a major focus in our K-12 schools now; I suppose this is due to the advent and high availability of smart phones.

The 2017 report card data for other Arkansas school districts may be found on the Arkansas Education Department website here.

On April 13, 2018 the Texarkana Gazette published an article about the grades of Arkansas schools as released by the Arkansas Department of Education.  This article including a report listing the grades of Arkansas schools within 75 miles of Texarkana may be found on the gazette website here.  If the article is not accessible still you may find the 75 mile radius report here. The 75 mile radius report shows that TASD has 8 campuses:  5 received a C and 3 received a D.

A quote from the April 13th article follows:

The report show how a school’s overall student body and its subgroups did compared with state averages.

The state average ESSA School Index Score for high schools was 67.43, which is a C. The state average for white students was 69.93, a low B. The average for low-income students statewide was 63.49, a C.

For black students, the average was 57.66, a D. For Hispanic students, 62.42, also a D. For English language learners, the average in the state was 59.94, a D. The average score for special-education students in high school was 50.92, which is an F.

The article indicates the “…Findings meant to fuel discussion on improvements”.

To me it is troubling that per the above article throughout the State of Arkansas minority students achieved a D and white students achieved a B on average.  Why is this so in 2018?

The 2017 TASD Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) data may be found here

The TASD website is located at http://www.tasd7.net/.

See Texarkana USA Income and Poverty Data analysis for related data.

 



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