The goal of the work session is to prepare for the meeting and allow board members a chance go in depth and ask questions and get answers about the major decisions they'll be making for students around the state.
The Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Dr. Tom Kimbrell says Common Core has really been a challenge for teachers. " It's been a change for teachers in not only English language and math, but across the curriculum because we're trying to pull all the other contents in because it's really about a different way of approaching instruction."
The goal of implementing Common Core standards is to get students to think more deeply about the material. Last year, Kindergarten through 2nd grade transitioned to Common Core standards. This year 3rd through 8th, and next year, 9th through 12th grade will be implemented. ADE Director of Curriculum and Instruction Tracy Tucker says it's important to remember this is a process. "This is not implementation we're going to be able to mark off our list as done in a few years. It's going to be something our teachers continue to work on. We need to provide them the time and support they need to learn what it is they need to learn to teach all students so they're all college and career ready."
The Arkansas State Board of Education is also looking at the renewal process of charter schools. 5 schools are looking to renew their charters. Dr. Kimbrell says no decisions are made at the work session. It's just an opportunity to see if certain criteria has been met, if the charter schools have solid leadership, and evaluate student test scores. "A charter is nothing but a contract with the State Board. "
It's a stringent process to become a successful charter school, to met the goals and show a need for an alternative option to public schools.The Arkansas State Board of Education meets Monday morning at 9 o'clock.