State Gets Conditional Approval for School Progress Assessment

NOVEMBER 10, 2006 - Posted at 7:36 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Federal officials have given Arkansas conditional approval to use a pilot plan to measure school and student progress toward meeting the No Child Left Behind Act.

The plan is designed to give Arkansas schools credit for students who make gains on state math and literacy tests even if the students fall short of scoring proficient or better.

Arkansas Education Commissioner Ken James says student achievement should be recognized when a child is moving toward becoming proficient.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Ray Simon, a former director of the Arkansas Department of Education, said in a teleconference yesterday that Arkansas is expected to get full approval.

Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, North Carolina, and Tennessee are the only states so far that have permission to try the so-called growth model plan as a means to comply with the federal No Child Left Behind Act.  The plan is used to determine if schools are making progress toward students scoring at their grade level.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)