Jonesboro schools work to lower test score gap

Jonesboro schools work to lower test score gap

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - There are 5 schools in the Jonesboro School District that have been placed on a list of "focus schools" by the Arkansas Department of Education.

The list named the schools in Arkansas whose under-privileged students have a more difficult time with standardized test scores. In order to make the list, a school must have a high gap in scores between these students and those not classified as "in poverty."

Dr. Kim Wilbanks, superintendent at JPS, said they are working to close this gap.

To accomplish this, the school provided more access to technology to their students in the form of laptops. Wilbanks explained not every student would be able to get their hands on a laptop at home until the school gave them 1 to use.

Teachers are also receiving training to help tutor those students who may be struggling with standardized testing at Health and Wellness Magnet, Microsociety Magnet, Annie Camp, Douglas MacArthur and Jonesboro High.

Wilbanks said Jonesboro is not the only place this problem can be seen.

"That is not a gap that is unique to Jonesboro," Wilbanks said. "That's a gap that's unique throughout the United States. We see students from poverty often struggle especially with standardized tests."

She said they have seen improvements from the students since implementing the new techniques and the gap is beginning to shrink.

Other schools in Region 8 that are classified as focus schools by the Arkansas Department of Education include:

West Memphis High School

Baldwin Elementary School

Blytheville Elementary School

Blytheville Primary School

Maynard High School

Stewart Elementary School (Pre-K to 2nd Grade)

Stewart Elementary School (3rd to 4th Grade)

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