Arkansas Department of Education

The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) is a cabinet-level agency of the Arkansas state government overseeing public education for K-12, higher education institutions, and career and technical education.

Arkansas Department of Education
Agency overview
Formed Reorganized 2019 (Founded 1931)
Jurisdiction  Arkansas
Headquarters Four Capitol Mall
Little Rock, AR 72201
Agency executives
  • Johnny Key, Secretary
  • Johnny Key, Commissioner, DESE
  • Ross White, Director, DTCE
  • Dr. Maria Markham, Director, ADHE
Website https://ade.arkansas.gov/

The ADE also contains the Arkansas State Library, the Arkansas School for the Deaf, Arkansas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and the Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission.

. . . Arkansas Department of Education . . .

The Division of Elementary & Secondary Education (often abbreviated DESE), headquartered in Little Rock,[1] is the state education agency of Arkansas for public schools. Founded in 1931, its responsibilities include accrediting schools, assisting Arkansas schools and their school districts in developing their curricula, approving the textbooks used in state public schools, licensing teachers, and providing continuing education programs.[2] The ADE consists of five divisions: Division of Academic Accountability, Division of Fiscal and Administrative Services, Division of Human Resources, Division of Learning Services, and Division of Research and Technology.[2]

The department maintains the Arkansas Public School Computer Network for the purpose of providing internet access in public schools.[3] ADE also runs a distance learning program through its Distance Learning Center and partners with the Arkansas Educational Television Network on the Arkansas IDEAS portal, which offers professional development courses to improve academic and teaching knowledge and skills of its personnel.[4]

The Augmented Benchmark Examinations is a test required by the Arkansas Department of Education in support of NCLB. Starting with the 2007-08 school year, a criterion-referenced test mandated by the state was merged with the Stanford Achievement Test, Series 10 to form the Augmented Benchmark Examinations. It is administered in grades 3-8 in ELA and mathematics, additionally, grades 5 and 7 are tested in science.[5]

In support of the requirements for No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act and its requirement for schools to produce Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), the ADE developed Augmented Benchmark Examinations and its associated Arkansas Comprehensive Testing, Assessment, and Accountability Program (ACTAAP), which has criterion-referenced test (CRT) and norm-referenced test (NRT) components including the Augmented Benchmark Examinations at grades 3 – 8 and The Iowa Tests at grades 1 – 2 and 9.[5]

Per the ADE website, the federal government approved the state’s differentiated accountability model, which is named Smart Accountability, in January 2009. The model divides schools into the following categories:

  • Achieving, meaning the school has made adequate yearly progress for two or more years.
  • Alert, meaning the school did not meet adequate yearly progress this year after meeting it last year and therefore is not in a phase of school improvement
  • Targeted School Improvement, meaning a school has been identified as being in school improvement status because one or more, but fewer than 25 percent, of its student subgroups failed to meet adequate yearly progress for two or more consecutive years
  • Targeted Intensive Improvement, meaning that a school has remained in Targeted School Improvement status for four or more years.
  • Whole School Improvement, meaning that a school has been identified as being in school improvement status because the full test-taking population and/or more than 25 percent of its student subgroups failed to meet adequate yearly progress for two or more consecutive years.
  • Whole School Intensive Improvement, meaning a school has remained in Whole School Improvement status for four or more years.
  • State Directed, meaning that a school has remained in school improvement status for five or more years. At this level, the state requires schools and districts to implement more interventions and to work with a school improvement team or director that is appointed by or approved by the state.

The 2010 adequate yearly progress calculations show that:

  • 446 schools are classified as Achieving
  • 209 schools are classified as Alert
  • 99 schools are classified as “Targeted Improvement Schools”
  • 158 schools are classified as “Whole School Improvement Schools”
  • 20 schools are classified as “Targeted Intensive Improvement Schools”
  • 65 schools are classified as “Whole School Intensive Improvement Schools”
  • 78 schools are classified as “State Directed” schools

. . . Arkansas Department of Education . . .

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. . . Arkansas Department of Education . . .