Document Type


Publication Date



Student achievement, standards, accountability, teacher quality

Series Title

Office for Education Policy

Series Number

Volume 02 Issue 06


As schools open their doors for the spring 2005 semester, many legislatures around the nation are meeting to discuss accountability standards, equity and adequacy issues, and the link between money and student performance. While the education issues of 2005 are not unique, in that they have been discussed for years, the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) deadline for schools to begin performing at higher standards increases the urgency. In addition to the increased standards, state policymakers are facing difficult legal challenges to their school funding systems. In an attempt to gauge the status of the nation and each state, Education Week has published state report cards since 1997 with its annual Quality Counts series, one of several national reports issued each year by various education organizations. Education Week’s report cards grade each state on student achievement, standards and accountability, efforts to improve teacher quality, school climate, resource equity, and resource adequacy. Throughout the nine year history, each year’s report includes a special focus. For example, in 1998, the focus was on urban schools, and, in 2004, the focus was on Special Education. The latest report was released early January 2005, entitled Quality Counts 2005: No Small Change, Targeting Money Toward Student Performance. This brief summarizes Arkansas’ position on the 2005 report, compares Arkansas to its border states on each measure, and illustrates Arkansas’ changes over time.