Arkansas moves up in education ranking; achievement gap persists
The public school system in Arkansas received a promotion in Education Week’s annual ranking of state education policies, moving from sixth in the nation to fifth. Arkansas was praised for aligning its education standards, so that learning is consistent as students move from one school to another. But Voices member Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families reminds us that the achievement gap persists, and that there’s more we can do to close it.
“There’s a lot of strong research out there that shows that if you’re not reading at a proficient level by the end of the third grade, that makes it much tougher for you to succeed in school in terms of graduating from high school and having the skills to go on to college and graduate from college,” says Rich Huddleston, the group’s executive director. Huddleston suggested expanding early education and after-school programs as strategies to ensure no child gets left behind.