The decision was announced Friday by the U.S. Department of Education.
Under the ruling, Arkansas will reward some schools for performance and improvement and distribute targeted resources to help persistently struggling schools. The state's plan for flexibility under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) runs parallel with the implementation of college and career ready learning standards and the state says this should help strengthen educator evaluation.
Like previous models, it continues annual public reporting of student outcome measures in math and literacy to assess school performance. However, the new system also includes student achievement growth measures and high school graduation rates. The new system holds all schools and districts accountable for improving student performance and creates five performance classifications that determine consequences and guide interventions and supports.
The state's goal is to ensure all students graduate from high school ready for success in college or a career. This flexibility is one step closer to fulfilling the goal of a better educated workforce.
Click here for Arkansas's application and related documents.
Click here for key points in Arkansas's flexibility plan.