Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Arkansas Joint Committee on Education: Student Achievement Gap

The Arkansas Joint Committee on Education met today at the State Capital. I was able to catch a few minutes of this to brign you the seond report in my series on out of session committee hearings. Today, Dr. Gary Ritter brought a report on student achievement measures in Arkansas. His report focused on the fact Arkansas students are improving in their scores compared to the national average, particularly in the elementary level. He presented information showing that there is still an achievement gap when looking at the scores of minority and low income students and that this gap has grown despite focused spending on lower this gap. Here is a taste of the hearing from the question and answer time.

Representative David Rainey asks a question about the report.

Senator Shane Broadway asks a question regarding the effectiveness of the pre-K program.

UPDATE – It looks like I left before the real fireworks began. Why can't they do a better job scheduling these things around my lunch breaks? According to an article by Seth Blomeley in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the committee hearing became rather heated when discussion turned to funding for teacher health insurance and school transportation costs.

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