Marvell-Elaine Schools were among 137 Arkansas public schools showing significant improvement on test scores to meet the state's annual targets and have been designated as Achieving schools under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act program. ESEA designates schools as: Exemplary, Achieving, Needs Improvement Focus and Needs Improvement Priority. The state Department of Education reported Tuesday that the Marvell-Elaine High School in the Marvell-Elaine School District was one of four schools that advanced from the Needs Improvement Priority List to the Achieving list. Marvell-Elaine Elementary School was one of 14 schools moving from the Needs Improvement Focus list to Achieving. “These 18 schools have shown significant improvement over the last two years, thanks to the hard work and dedication of students, teachers and administrators,” stated Department of Education Commissioner Dr. Tom Kimbrell in a press release. “The continuing implementation of Common Core State Standards will aid in these efforts.” According to information provided by the Department of Education, all schools must meet Annual Measurable Objectives, AMOs or yearly targets. AMOs are designed to decrease the disparity in proficiency, growth and graduation. Students, says the Department of Education, are classified in two main groups – All Students and Targeted Achievement Gap Group, or TAGG. TAGG is composed of students in one of the economically disadvantaged – English Learners and Students With Disabilities subgroups. Test scores from 2011, based on 2010 data, were used to establish the proficiency, growth and graduation gaps to set the targets for each school. Schools are expected to reduce the gap by half within six years. Schools that achieve their AMOs for both groups in either performance or growth for back-to-back year are rated as Achieving. High schools also must achieve graduation rate and performance objectives. Schools not meeting their AMO are considered Needs Improvement Schools. In 2012, 10 percent of the schools with the largest 3-year gap between Non-TAGG student scores and TAGG student scores were designated Needs Improvement Focus. Priority Schools make up the lowest five percent of schools based on proficiency in literacy and math. According to 2013 results, 793 Arkansas schools were placed in the Needs Improvement category. Kimbrell, however, stressed that these schools continue to show improvement but they did not meet their AMO for the year. “The target increases each year,” stated Kimbrell, “making it more challenging for schools to meet their AMOs. Educators are encouraged to continue to identify effective teaching and learning strategies to help all students reach proficiency.” To view the complete accountability of your child's school, please go to http://www.arkansased.org/divisions/communications/pressroom.