LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Arkansas education officials recently touted increasing test scores across the state.
Education Week ranked Arkansas fifth in the nation in respect to education policy. The state isn't claiming victory yet, with room to improve our state's standing.
In a commercial about our country's falling test scores, state leaders are selling a new curriculum called Common Core. The new common, educational standards are supposed to improve student achievement in turn test scores.
"It's a deeper learning. Students aren't just learning one thing and moving onto the next thing," says State Education Communications Director Seth Blomeley.
Blomeley says higher scores may take time. "Some test scores may go down a little bit," says Blomeley.
Common Core won't be fully implemented until 2014. In the meantime, the state is pushing professional development.
"Teachers are the driving force behind student achievement," says Blomeley.
Individual schools have found programs that work for them. Baker Elementary focuses on business and found 90 percent of students score proficient or above. Some charter schools have longer school days and school years and found test scores also improved. Yet, Blomeley says adopting some of these ideas on a state level isn't that easy.
"If there is something that can be replicated on a state wide basis without insurmountable cost, then that is something we would look at," says Blomeley.
Blomeley says the state still isn't sure if Common Core will improve test scores, but it's a start. Implementing Common Core will go in stages. This school year Arkansas adopted standards for kindergarten to second grade.