What do these recommendations mean for me?
They will help bring successful results for all Arkansans. Here are just a few examples.
More schools will provide breakfast in the classroom so students have access to adequate nutrition. More students will attend a high-quality pre-K program so, regardless of their family situations, they will be prepared for kindergarten. Students in every classroom will be taught by talented, well-prepared teachers and will be engaged in meaningful learning experiences that excite them and help them understand the wide variety of college and career options available. More opportunities will be available for students to develop workforce skills while earning concurrent college credit.
Parents will view teachers and school leaders as partners to ensure their children are learning and graduate from high school prepared to enter college and the workplace. Resources to ensure their children are continuously improving and learning opportunities will bolster ongoing collaboration. Parents will be confident in district, community, and state policies that support their children’s health, social, and educational well-being. Child performance data will be accurate and readily available so families can provide informed feedback on how well students are doing and what interventions can most benefit them.
New teachers will have a smooth transition into the profession with hands-on training and mentors. Rules, training and processes will be set up to help teachers feel respected and supported. Paperwork and processes will be streamlined to enable a focus on teaching and learning. Testing will be holistic, helpful for guiding instruction, rigorous and a good use of class time. Professional development will be relevant and interactive, and teachers will be excited about how collaboration can help them become better educators.
There will be a transparent, proactive process to prevent schools that are at-risk from entering academic distress. A turnaround-specific training academy will support teachers in schools in academic distress—leading to turnaround expertise around the state. Students, teachers, and leaders in schools in academic distress will feel that they are able to have input in determining where support is needed. Progress will be assessed holistically and regularly shared with the community.
Principals and superintendents will be inspired to set lofty visions for their schools by visiting other high-performing schools and districts. Paperwork and regulations will be streamlined to enable a focus on instructional leadership. There will be strong “build your own” programs, new incentives, and a centralized recruitment process to make it easier to attract top talent to high-need schools and subjects.