Local Schools Receive Letter Grades For Performance

KFSM — A state agency has posted letter grades for Arkansas schools in an effort to fuel conversations for improvement.

The Arkansas Department of Education released its figures Wednesday, which were based on the Every Student Succeeds Act. Arkansas is among 34 states with an approved plan that complies with the law.

The 2017 School Performance Reports show more than 380 schools received a "C'' grade and nearly 300 campuses earned a "B." There were 170 schools that got a "D," more than 160 that achieved an "A'' and more than 30 were given an "F."

Within the Fort Smith School District, Northside High School received a "D" grade.

We spoke with parents and families whose children attend Northside, and many said they were surprised by the grade.

"Shocking... for as many kids that are honor roll students here and the teachers are great," said Paula Harris.

"I've been in the office before, I've seen teachers come in and out. I've seen and spoke to the secretaries and they're all very lovely people, so it does shock me that they`re getting a D as a grade, " said Dee Moore.

One parent told 5NEWS that her family moved to the area last fall. She said her son has had a great academic experience at Northside High School.

"He's been doing excellent actually since we've been here, he's doing good," said Gloria Johnson, "The kids that I know that go here, they're getting good grades and to hear that, it`s just shocking."

The Arkansas school performance reports are based on several factors including student achievement and improvement on the ACT Aspire test and graduation rates.

Fort Smith Schools Superintendent, Dr. Doug Brubaker, said while the district sees many exciting accomplishments to see from the report, there are also some important areas to address.

In a statement on the district's website, Brubaker said: "Now, with the assessment instrument determined, accountability formulas established, and this baseline set of ratings assigned, we will expect to see even higher levels of academic achievement in the future."

The statement goes on to read that the district plans to address the acceleration of literacy, science, and math.

Another high school within the district, Southside High School, received a "B" grade.

The Future School of Fort Smith also received a "B" grade.