Achievement Gap Legislation Filed

February 7, 2003
Posted at: 5:50 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Legislation was filed today that aim to narrow the gap in academic achievement and change the authority to set school standards.

Representatives Calvin Johnson and Robert White filed a measure that would establish a commission to narrow the achievement gap between students from struggling districts and those in better-performing areas.

Their commission would have 12 members appointed by the governor, Senate president, House speaker and the Legislature's Black Caucus.

The commission would be responsible for writing a plan to allow all public school students to meet academic achievement standards.

Another bill, from House Speaker Herschel Cleveland and Representative Jodie Mahony would make the state Education Board's accreditation standards for Arkansas public schools a part of state law.

That's in preparation for whatever the Legislature decides to do to address a state Supreme Court ruling finding the school funding system unequal and inadequate.

The bill also would make the Legislature, rather than the state Education Board, responsible for developing standards.

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