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Little Rock Grade Level Reading: Opposite of RISE

Posted By Arkansas Learns, Saturday, July 7, 2018
Updated: Monday, July 16, 2018

Preliminary ACT Aspire results are out for 2017-18, but difficult to find for English and Reading.

However, thanks to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, scores (by schools, grades) are searchable here: http://www.arkansasonline.com/2018act

This is the third year of ACT Aspire as the summative test for Arkansas's Grades 3 through 10 students. In 2015, it was chosen by the Governor and confirmed by a split vote of the Arkansas State Board of Education to replace PARCC.

Since a consensus among disparate groups is that Grade 3 Reading is the greatest determinant of future success/failure, here's how the state-controlled Little Rock School District is doing on that front.

Percentage of Students Meeting/Exceeding Readiness in Reading (Grade 3 in Bold)

LRSD School 2015-16  2016-17  2017-18 1-Year Growth/Decline  2-Year Growth/Decline 
 Bale 3rd  16.30  13.70  14.49  +.79  -1.81
 Bale 4th  13.00  16.30  24.36  +8.06  +11.36
 Bale 5th  16.10  7.30  7.25  -0.05  -8.85
           
 *Baseline 3rd  23.40  10.70  11.11  +0.41  -12.29
 Baseline 4th  21.69  19.60  20.83  +1.23  -0.86
 Baseline 5th  2.20  18.80  5.77  -13.03  +3.57
           
 Booker 3rd  28.20  22.10  30.44  +8.34  +2.24
 Booker 4th  22.80  27.60  30.68  +7.88  +7.88
 Booker 5th  32.00  24.80  29.73  +4.93  -2.27
           
 Brady 3rd  8.50  13.80  18.03  +4.23  +9.53
 Brady 4th  9.50  22.60  21.92  -0.78  +12.42
 Brady 5th  19.20  22.10  22.22  +0.12  +3.02
           
 *Carver 3rd  25.60  30.00  32.61  +2.61  +7.01
 Carver 4th  22.70  37.70  49.06  +11.36  +22.36
 Carver 5th  44.70  31.70  36.74  +5.04  -7.96
           
 *Chicot 3rd  NA  18.70  19.15  +0.45  NA
 Chicot 4th  NA  16.70  20.18  +3.48  NA
 Chicot 5th  NA  17.00  10.71  -6.29  NA
           
 Dodd 3rd  8.70  26.50  24.39  -2.11  +15.69
 Dodd 4th  13.60  20.90  20.00  -0.90  +6.40
 Dodd 5th  15.10  8.40  23.33  +14.93  +8.23
           
 Don Roberts 3rd  67.40  66.60  68.87  +2.27  +1.48
 Don Roberts 4th  77.80  72.60  68.55  -4.05  -9.25
 Don Roberts 5th  58.40  66.40  67.07  +0.67  +8.67
           
 *Forest Heights STEM 3rd  43.80  43.60  52.78  +9.18  +4.98
 Forest Heights STEM 4th  62.00  51.50  49.33  -2.17   -12.67
 Forest Heights STEM 5th  47.80  45.70  53.62  +7.92  +5.82
           
 Forest Park 3rd  62.70  62.70  70.27  +7.57  +7.57
 Forest Park 4th  78.60  71.60  66.13  -5.47  -12.47
 Forest Park 5th  59.30  68.60  62.16  -6.44  +2.86
           
 *Fulbright 3rd  41.50  42.40  53.61  +11.21  +12.11
 Fulbright 4th  42.60  43.60  41.30  -2.30  -1.30
 Fulbright 5th  33.30  35.00  44.05  +9.05  +10.75
           
 *Gibbs 3rd  51.10  69.60  43.75  -25.85  -7.35
 Gibbs 4th  53.30  56.50  56.10  -0.40  +2.80
 Gibbs 5th  41.30  32.60  34.88  +2.28  -6.42
           
 Jefferson 3rd  61.00  71.40  53.32  -18.08  -7.68
 Jefferson 4th  42.60  61.60  72.86  +11.26  +30.26
 Jefferson 5th  25.60  50.00  63.83  +13.83  +38.23
           
 M. L. King 3rd  21.60  24.50  31.67  +7.17  +10.07
 M. L. King 4th  40.80  28.10  25.00  -3.10  -15.80
 M. L. King 5th  27.80  35.50  17.57  -17.93  -10.23
           
 Mabelvale 3rd  23.60  21.50  20.00  -1.5  -3.6
 Mabelvale 4th  7.40  22.20  20.73  -1.47  -13.33
 Mabelvale 5th  7.50  14.10  12.20  -1.90  +4.70
           
 McDermott 3rd  33.40  20.40  22.45  +2.05  -10.95
 McDermott 4th  25.60  28.60  22.64  -5.96  -2.96
 McDermott 5th   17.60  20.00  20.76  +0.76  +3.16
           
 Meadowcliff 3rd  18.80  16.00  17.39  +1.39  -1.41
 Meadowcliff 4th  11.30  24.50  28.57  +4.07  +17.27
 Meadowcliff 5th  6.70  11.60  25.00  +13.40  +18.30
           
 Otter Creek 3rd  28.40  25.90  23.88  -2.02  -4.52
 Otter Creek 4th  31.20  28.70  33.75  +5.05  +2.55
 Otter Creek 5th  26.00  26.10  22.64  -3.46  -3.36
           
 *Pulaski Heights 3rd  50.00  45.60  47.62  +2.02  -2.38
 Pulaski Heights 4th   58.80  42.80  60.00  +17.2  +1.2
 Pulaski Heights 5th  42.60  50.90  51.79  +0.89  +9.19
           
 Rockefeller 3rd  19.30  24.50  23.68  -0.82  +4.38
 Rockefeller 4th  23.70  18.40  27.91  +9.51  +4.21
 Rockefeller 5th  13.60  20.60  15.91  -4.69  +2.31
           
 *Romine 3rd  13.30  23.10  12.50  -10.6  -0.8
 Romine 4th  12.80  17.90  14.29  -3.61  +1.49
 Romine 5th  20.00  3.20  16.67  +13.47  -3.33
           
 *Stephens 3rd  16.90  19.10  5.13  -13.97  -11.77
 Stephens 4th  13.90  17.70  21.59  +3.89  +7.69
 Stephens 5th  12.50  15.90  11.82  -4.08  -0.68
           
 Terry 3rd  44.90  26.10  44.23  +17.13  -0.67
 Terry 4th  48.20  44.40  43.64  -0.76  -4.56
 Terry 5th  25.40  29.70  32.14  +2.44  +6.74
           
 Wakefield 3rd  16.30  22.50  18.89  -3.61  +2.59
 Wakefield 4th  16.30  19.10  25.25  +8.95  +8.95
 Wakefield 5th  15.60  13.60  14.46  +0.86  -1.14
           
 Washington 3rd  19.70  15.90  2.82  -13.08  -16.88
 Washington 4th  11.50  17.00  5.09  -11.91  -6.41
 Washington 5th  14.10  10.50  25.00  +14.5  +10.90
           
 Watson 3rd  11.30  17.10  7.14  -9.96  -4.16
 Watson 4th  9.90  16.20  23.46  +7.26  +13.56
 Watson 5th  4.40  9.60  15.29  +5.69  +11.19
           
 *Western Hills 3rd  31.10  14.20  25.00  +10.8  -6.1
 Western Hills 4th  26.90  27.50  27.45  -0.05  -0.55
 Western Hills 5th  12.90  25.90  26.67  -0.77  +13.77
           
 *Williams 3rd  44.10  55.60  56.41  +0.81  +12.31
 Williams 4th  65.50  54.80  60.26  +5.46  -6.24
 Williams 5th  48.40  57.90  48.53  -9.37  +0.13

*RISE (Reading Initiative for Student Success)

Grade 3 Takeaways:

  • 28 Elementary School Third Grades
  • 17 Improved Between 2016-17 and 2017-18 (1 Year)
  • 12 Improved Between 2015-16 and 2017-18 (2 Years)
  • 9 Improved in Both 1-Year and 2-Year
  • 11 Declined Between 2017-17 and 2017-18 (1 Year)
  • 16 Declined Between 2015-16 and 2017-18 (2 Years)
  • 8 Declined in Both 1-Year and 2-Year
  • Largest 1-Year Improvement:
    • Terry +17.13
    • Fulbright +11.21
    • Western Hills +10.8
  • Largest 2-Year Improvement:
    • Dodd +15.69
    • Williams +12.31
    • Fulbright +12.11
    • King +10.07
  • Largest 1-Year Decline
    • Gibbs -25.85
    • Jefferson -18.08
    • Stephens -13.97
    • Washington -13.08
    • Romine -10.6
  • Largest 2-Year Decline
    • Washington -16.88
    • Baseline -12.29
    • Stephens -11.77
    • McDermott -10.95
  • Greatest Percentage 2-Year Improvement
    • Dodd +180.34%
    • Bale +112.18%
    • King +46.62%
  • Greatest Percentage 2-Year Decline
    • Washington -85.69%
    • Stephens -69.64%
    • Baseline -52.52%

And what of Middle Schools?

LRSD School  2015-16  2016-17  2017-18  1-Year Growth/Decline  2-Year Growth/Decline 
 Dunbar 6th  24.0  30.0  18.9  -11.1  -5.1
 Dunbar 7th  24.3  24.10  17.02  -7.08  -7.28
 Dunbar 8th  38.9  41.50  32.55  -8.95  -6.35
           
 Forest Heights STEM 6th  65.4  61.6  59.29  -2.31  -6.11
 Forest Heights STEM 7th  63.5  67.10  61.96  -5.14  -1.54
 Forest Heights STEM 8th  55.3  72.8  71.91  -0.89  +16.61
           
 Henderson 6th  18.10  18.9  13.94  -4.96  -4.16
 Henderson 7th  20.10  15.0  12.72  -2.28  -7.38
 Henderson 8th  26.4  34.6  27.19  -7.41  +0.79
           
 Mabelvale 6th  11.4  19.5  23.00  +3.5  +11.6
 Mabelvale 7th  15.6  14.0  19.68  +5.68  +4.08
 Mabelvale 8th  31.0  32.5  25.26  -7.24  -5.74
           
 Mann 6th  39.0  38.4  29.89  -8.54  -9.11
 Mann 7th  37.9  36.6  37.70  -1.1   -0.2
 Man 8th  42.30  44.7  46.88  +2.18  +4.58
           
 Pinnacle View 6th  NA  54.3  63.07  +8.77  NA
 Pinnacle View 7th  NA  NA  42.86  NA  NA
           
 Pulaski Heights 6th  39.5  41.6  49.25  +7.65  +9.75
 Pulaski Heights 7th  41.3  42.8  37.84  -4.96  -3.46
 Pulaski Heights 8th  53.6  50.9  53.60  +2.7  0


And High Schools?

LRSD School 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 1-Year Growth/Decline 2-Year Growth/Decline
 Central 9th  41.70  43.8  NA  NA  NA
 Central 10th  44.10  41.5  NA  NA  NA
           
 Fair 9th  13.0  15.4  8.76  -6.64  -4.24
 Fair 10th  12.4  12.9  10  -2.9  -2.4
           
 Hall 9th  8.7  10.5 12.01  +1.96  +3.31
 Hall 10th  6.8  11.9  7.02  -4.88  +0.22
           
 McClellan 9th  11.0  13.8  10.68  -3.12  -0.32
 McClellan 10th  9.1  14.0  13.87  -0.13  +4.77
           
Parkview 9th  36.9  44.7  34.75  -9.95  -2.15
Parkview 10th  28.9  44.3  29.64  -14.66  +0.74

 

Across the district, over the past two years, some schools have improved in each grade:

  • Brady
  • Dodd
  • Rockefeller
  • Hall

While others have declined in each grade:

  • Dunbar
  • Fair

Unacceptably, some schools' grade percentage of students meeting/exceeding readiness in Reading is in single digits, at least 32 points below an abysmal 2016-17 state average of 41%:

  • Bale 5th 7.25%
  • Baseline 5th 5.77%
  • Stephens 3rd 5.13%
  • Washington 3rd 2.82%
  • Washington 4th 5.09%
  • Watson 3rd 7.14%
  • Fair 9th 8.76%
  • Hall 10th 7.02%

Even though the district is in state control, only eleven of 28 elementary schools participated in the Arkansas Department of Education’s RISE (Reading Initiative for Student Success). By contrast, 16 of Springdale’s 18 elementary schools participated in the grades K-2 professional development.

Some building leaders in the district are self-identifying as "Turnaround Principals." Data show their already under-performing schools have indeed been turned around. Unfortunately, many times it is in the wrong direction.

We understand that it was not appointees of the current Governor who thankfully voted to intervene in the Little Rock School District. It is, however, the appointees of the current Governor who are charged with turning around a district which has generationally failed its students, families, community and state.

When the largest and richest district in Arkansas history is controlled by the Commissioner of Education, Arkansas Department of Education, and State Board of Education, it betrays both the RISE Initiative and Student-focused Education to allow adults to continue to continue to deny basic literacy to generations of students.

It also sets a terrible example for the rest of the state's districts and charters.

Perhaps most egregiously, the same associate superintendents in charge of elementary, middle and high schools when the state took over the district - because of Academic Distress in elementary (1), middle (2) and high schools (3) - are still in charge of their respective areas. It's akin to bringing in Chad Morris, but keeping all of Bret Bielema's assistants.

Disruption is long overdue and must come boldly, swiftly and competently. If not, failure in the Little Rock School District will have three authors - local, federal and state.

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