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Monday, November 19, 2012

3 Good News Items about AR Education

From more bikes to more college graduates, there've been some positive happenings for education in Arkansas of late. Here are three that caught our eye:
  • Bentonville School District, thanks to community support, is putting 30 top-quality mountain bikes at each of its schools. In addition to a bicycle mechanics program, younger students will spend part of their PE classes riding the many trails around the schools. Learning, fun execercise and exploring the treasures of home -- not a bad combo!
  • The Data Quality Center again recognized Arkansas for leading the nation with our  educational data tracking system. Only Delaware received similar kudos.  Data-driven instruction is the best way to ensure students are mastering their lessons. You can't do that without a trove of reliable, accurate and accessible data, though. It's good to know that Arkansas educators have such a trove literally at their fingertips.
  • The six-year graduation rate at the University of Arkansas topped 60 percent for the first time ever. That's good news for students and good news for our state. It's the result of efforts to retain more students by UA, of course, but it's also a positive testament to the state's policy efforts. Things like improving data-driven instruction (see above), attracting better teachers through better pay, and increasing rigor in the classroom better prepare K-12 students for college success.

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