Benchmark Rewards

Jonesboro (KAIT)-- Benchmark results bring big bucks to Arkansas schools.

The State Education Board is distributing $5.17 million to Arkansas schools as part of the Arkansas School Recognition Program.  Any school that has shown significant academic gains in the benchmark results would be classified on a rating system.  Schools on the 4 or 5 level, meaning they have exceeded the improvement standards, will receive around $100 per student tested.

Greene County Tech Intermediate in Paragould will be receiving $45,900. As part of the program, the money is to be allocated one of three ways: nonrecurring bonuses to the faculty and staff, nonrecurring expenditures for educational equipment or materials to assist in maintaining and improving student performance, or temporary personnel to assist the school.  G.C.T. Intermediate chose to give bonuses to their faculty and staff.

Principal Marilyn Jerome says that the teachers deserve the bonuses after all of their hard work and dedication.  Jerome feels that teachers do not get enough recognition for their efforts.  She, along with the teachers and staff, share their pride for the hard work of the students as well.

Teachers focused on improving the math and literacy skills of their students, since these two areas are what the benchmarks test.  Through the use of creative projects and classroom libraries, they worked to become enthusiastic about reading.  Teachers were also supplied with current, up-to-date resources and books.

The rewards are based on grades 3-8.  Starting next year, grades 9-11 will be assessed.

The Arkansas School Recognition Program began six years ago, but this is the first year for the rewards.

Rebecca Lane