Making Sure Every Student Succeeds: Understanding ESSA and School Report Cards

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families and the Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading have produced a new guide to help parents understand the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The Arkansas Department of Education now uses ESSA to measure how Arkansas’s students and schools perform. Arkansas’s ESSA plan is a welcome shift from the one-size-fits-all […]

Reducing Chronic Absenteeism for Children in Foster Care and FINS

Too many children in Arkansas are missing too much school to make academic progress. In 2014-15, 13 percent of K-12 students were chronically absent, meaning they missed 18 or more days of school (or 10 percent of the school year) for any reason, including being suspended. Children who are chronically absent in kindergarten and first […]

Awaken the Force of Quality Early Childhood Education (infographic)

This May the Fourth, awaken the force … of quality early childhood education in Arkansas. Our little Wookiees’ earliest experiences form the foundation for all of their future learning. During a high-quality early childhood education, they learn to regulate emotions along with their ABC’s, leading them to success in kindergarten and beyond. From kindergarten readiness […]

Clearing Barriers to Success by Redirecting Poverty Funding

It’s no secret that the quality of public-school education is not equal across Arkansas. Similarly, all students do not experience the same types of challenges. This is especially true for students living in poverty. They often face more obstacles to learning and need more resources. Arkansas recognizes this in the way it funds education. As […]

How School Discipline Policies Affect Chronic Absenteeism

Chronic absences add up—and school discipline practices can make the problem better, or worse. Chronic absenteeism is defined as students missing 10 percent or more of the school year for any reason, excused or unexcused, including suspensions. That means missing 18 days of school in Arkansas, or just two days a month. In 2014-15, more […]

2018 Voters’ Guide

This November, Arkansas voters will elect candidates to important public offices, including seats in the U.S. Congress and the Arkansas General Assembly. The winners of these elections will be in a unique position to make public policy that will impact the future well-being and success of Arkansas’s children and families. Making children our top priority […]

What Do Our Littlest Learners Need to Be School-Ready?

When do children begin to learn? Believe it or not, school readiness begins in the womb. Decades of research show the first few years of life, including the prenatal months, are the most important for healthy brain development and success in school. Unfortunately, too many of our kids aren’t getting the boost they need for […]