AR Dept. of Education: Common Core works

LITTLE ROCK (KATV)--It's a highly debatable standard that's been implemented throughout the state's education system; we're talking about the Common Core standard.

According to the Arkansas Department of Education, it's improving the way students perform.

Despite strong opposition, the Common Core standard has been implemented in all grade levels K-12. They began in 2011 with K-2nd, then the following year 3rd-8th and this past year 9th- 12th.

The Common Core standard is now in full implementation throughout school districts in the state of Arkansas. On Friday, the Arkansas Department of Education presented the board with data proving that the standards are working.

"Arkansas was one of two states that scored significantly higher in math and reading on state grade results from 2009-2013," said National Assessment of Educational Progress State Coordinator, Pamela Byrd.

The NAEP also came out with results for 12th grade reading and math assessments.

Out of 2,400 students sampled, on a scale from 0 to 500, Arkansas students scored a 280 in 2009. In 2013, they scored a 285. Compared to a national average of 36 percent, 33 percent of Arkansans are college-ready.

When it came to math, before Common Core 59 percent of 12th grade students sampled were math ready for college. Now in 2013, 64 percent are ready.

Compared to the national average of 38 percent, Arkansans are 34 percent are ready. In 2009 it was only 30 percent.

"We've had standards for many years, it's just a different level of standard for the students, and they're developed to be more rigorous so that our students are prepared to walk out of high school and be prepared for college or career," said Department of Education Assistant Commissioner of Learning Services, Dr. Debbie Jones.

The department of education will be asking the board to approve social studies, fine arts and science common core standards, that decision is expected to be made by early 2015. If approved, it would be implemented in the 2015-2016 school year.