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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Salem schools receive A-

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The grades are in and Salem School District was recognized with an A- rating, ranked 12th highest school district in the state by the Arkansas Policy Foundation of Little Rock, Ark.

"Our consistency of performing at a high level on all those exams says a lot about what we do here," said Ken Rich, superintendent for Salem Schools.

Salem School District is one of 17 to receive an A or A- rating for the 2007-2008 school year. Rated as a "B" in the previous year, Salem Schools continues to improve upon SAT-10 results, taken from first to ninth-grades for the purposes of the foundation's report.

"The principals and teachers are always looking for ways to improve by evaluating all the exams we take and look for weak points," Rich said. "Our students perform at a very high level on all exams we take, not just one exam we take one time a year: Benchmark exams, end of course exams, SAT-10 exams and the ACT."

Other districts that have received an A or A- rating include: Valley View, Bentonville Lakeside in Garland County and Fayetteville.

"We are very proud to be recognized as the twelveth ranked school district." Rich said. "I think it is something we can be proud of as a school and a community. I think the credit goes to our community, students, teachers and staff for valuing education and supporting our school district."

The main focus of the Salem Schools administration is to support and encourage the building of its student/teacher relationships.

"I feel like our staff is willing to go the extra mile for students," Rich said. The after-school tutoring programs are carried out by the teachers. "Our curriculum is designed for students to have to opportunity to succeed," he said.

An "A" rating is given to the districts whose students are performing at a level "significantly higher than average" on a standardized national test, said Greg Kaza, executive director of the Arkansas Policy Foundation.

The foundation conducts these tests independently in an effort to make the entire state more aware of students' achievement levels, he said.

Arkansas Policy Foundation is one source of information that the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) looks at but there are many sources, said Julie Thompson, communications director for ADE. Policy is set through legislation, and it is then up to the ADE to carry it out.

"We make recommendations," Kaza said. "We conduct research and distribute our research as a service." The Arkansas Policy Foundation has conducted these research reports, assigning grades to each school district in the state for the last four years.

Arkansas will begin its own grading system called the Smart Accountability plan in the 2009-2010 school year, according to the ADE Web site.

As it stands, the Smart Accountability will focus on grading schools based upon improvement, Rich said.

"The ADE is one of nine states receiving approval from the United States Department of Education (USDE) to be part of the Differentiated Accountability Pilot," according to the site.

"This pilot provides ADE with the opportunity to explore ways to match school improvement research-based interventions that correlate to the academic reasons that led to a school's identification for improvement as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Arkansas' Smart Accountability will be a four year agreement with the USDE."The grades are in and Salem School District was recognized with an A- rating, ranked 12th highest school district in the state by the Arkansas Policy Foundation of Little Rock, Ark.

"Our consistency of performing at a high level on all those exams says a lot about what we do here," said Ken Rich, superintendent for Salem Schools.

Salem School District is one of 17 to receive an A or A- rating for the 2007-2008 school year. Rated as a "B" in the previous year, Salem Schools continues to improve upon SAT-10 results, taken from first to ninth-grades for the purposes of the foundation's report.

"The principals and teachers are always looking for ways to improve by evaluating all the exams we take and look for weak points," Rich said. "Our students perform at a very high level on all exams we take, not just one exam we take one time a year: Benchmark exams, end of course exams, SAT-10 exams and the ACT."

Other districts that have received an A or A- rating include: Valley View, Bentonville Lakeside in Garland County and Fayetteville.

"We are very proud to be recognized as the twelveth ranked school district." Rich said. "I think it is something we can be proud of as a school and a community. I think the credit goes to our community, students, teachers and staff for valuing education and supporting our school district."

The main focus of the Salem Schools administration is to support and encourage the building of its student/teacher relationships.

"I feel like our staff is willing to go the extra mile for students," Rich said. The after-school tutoring programs are carried out by the teachers. "Our curriculum is designed for students to have to opportunity to succeed," he said.

An "A" rating is given to the districts whose students are performing at a level "significantly higher than average" on a standardized national test, said Greg Kaza, executive director of the Arkansas Policy Foundation.

The foundation conducts these tests independently in an effort to make the entire state more aware of students' achievement levels, he said.

Arkansas Policy Foundation is one source of information that the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) looks at but there are many sources, said Julie Thompson, communications director for ADE. Policy is set through legislation, and it is then up to the ADE to carry it out.

"We make recommendations," Kaza said. "We conduct research and distribute our research as a service." The Arkansas Policy Foundation has conducted these research reports, assigning grades to each school district in the state for the last four years.

Arkansas will begin its own grading system called the Smart Accountability plan in the 2009-2010 school year, according to the ADE Web site.

As it stands, the Smart Accountability will focus on grading schools based upon improvement, Rich said.

"The ADE is one of nine states receiving approval from the United States Department of Education (USDE) to be part of the Differentiated Accountability Pilot," according to the site.

"This pilot provides ADE with the opportunity to explore ways to match school improvement research-based interventions that correlate to the academic reasons that led to a school's identification for improvement as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Arkansas' Smart Accountability will be a four year agreement with the USDE."



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