Arkansas High officials upset about school's placement on low-performing list

Arkansas High officials upset about school's placement on low-performing list

TEXARKANA, AR (KSLA) - Officials with the Texarkana, Arkansas School District say they are frustrated for being placed on a low performance list in the state of Arkansas. The list was compiled from students' test scores and now the local district wants a retake.

"Arkansas High has made great strides, they have made vast improvements," said Superintendent Becky Kesler.

But apparently not enough improvements to get the Texarkana school off the state's priority list, meaning the school is still in the bottom 5 percent overall performance in Arkansas.

The Texarkana school was on the last priority list that came out in 2011.

"So we were able to use that data over a 3-year period to make our determination," explained Elbert Harvey with the Arkansas Department of Education.

Harvey said in order to get off the list, a school must have definite improvement for two consecutive years.

"The data has been verified by the district and gone through a process and we feel very confident that the data is accurate," said Harvey.

But Texarkana Arkansas School Superintendent Becky Kesler questions the results.

"We are currently ranked number 1 for college and career readiness in the city of Texarkana. Our ACT scores are at an all-time high," said Kesler.

Arkansas Department of Education officials say the list follows the federal government guidelines and it is not known when a new list will be released.

"We will continue to work with the Arkansas Department of Education and we will continue to focus on student achievement not only at Arkansas High but across the district," said Kesler.

There are 46 schools in the State of Arkansas that made the list. Harvey said those schools will be provided with more intensive services from the State

Department of Education including a school improvement specialist to assist the schools in writing an effective plan for improvement.

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