"Technology in Arkansas classrooms has undergone enormous growth and"
1 Snapshots of Success: Technology Integration In Arkansas Schools May 2007 Cheryl Murphy, Ed.D. College of Education & Health Professions University of Arkansas Brent Riffel, M.A. College of Education & Health Professions University of Arkansas Rebecca Martindale, M.Ed. School for Continuing Education and Academic Outreach University of Arkansas Liz Stover, M.Ed. School for Continuing Education and Academic Outreach University of Arkansas Elaine Terrell, M.Ed. School for Continuing Education and Academic Outreach University of Arkansas Sean Bateman College of Education & Health Professions University of Arkansas John Badgett College of Education & Health Professions University of Arkansas 2 Classroom technology in Arkansas has undergone enormous growth and development over the past two decades. In the early 1980s the state had a public school enrollment of just over 430,000 students, and the ratio of computers per pupil stood at a paltry one computer per 275 students. By the early 1990s the ratio had improved to one computer per 11 students. As of 2006 the ratio had fallen to an even more respectable level of one computer for every 3.8 students. While this figure mirrored the national average, the landscape of educational technology transformed dramatically over this period. Indeed, when lawmakers and educators discuss technology in the classroom today, computers are only one element of the equation. SMART boards, compressed video, Internet access, and a wide array of software tools are just a few examples of the educational technologies currently at our disposal. Throughout Arkansas, educators and policymakers have shown a willingness to expand the palate of instructional technology and the results appear to be paying dividends. This commitment to technology has been demonstrated by past and present Governors (such as when Governor Huckabee convened the Technology in Education Task Force in 2003), as well as the Arkansas General Assembly, which currently mandates that $250 per pupil be allocated for educational technology. The influential publication Education Week has traced the state’s progress over the past decade, and its most recent report, “Technology Counts 2007: A Digital Decade,” indicates that Arkansas is among the leaders in providing instructional technology that offers access, research tools, increased productivity, and greater communication. 1 The “Technology Counts 2007” report gave Arkansas a grade of B- overall, and in each of its categories (access, use, and capacity) the state scored above the national average. In terms of educational technology, Arkansas outperformed most of its neighboring states in several critical areas. Foremost, the state has done a better job of providing computers and Internet access to high-poverty students, as well as minority students – outpacing the national average. Moreover, Arkansas has demonstrated – again in comparison to most states – considerable cost effectiveness in providing technology to classrooms. For instance, Arkansas is one of only 17 states involved in a group-purchasing program that allows districts to buy, through statewide negotiation, digital content at a lower price. In addition, Arkansas is effectively utilizing the Internet to improve education. The Arkansas Department of Education has served as an effective conduit of online resources, providing digital content to a number of school districts around the state. Several Arkansas districts take advantage of electronic educational resources and online databases like the ATHENA program, which are typically offered by commercial 1 “Technology Counts 2007: A Digital Decade,” Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, http://www.edweek.org/ew/toc/2007/03/29/index.html 3 providers. Similarly, teachers throughout the state can now access online courses that expand their professional development opportunities. Educators in the state of Arkansas have the ability to sign up and track professional development events on-line using the escWorks® system. In short, Arkansas has demonstrated enormous growth in the amount as well as the diversity of its educational technology. While much remains to be done, signs of progress are clear. However, despite the increase in the availability of instructional technology, teachers consistently point out that the rapidity of technological change poses a daunting challenge to maintaining effectiveness in the classroom. That is, the sheer breadth of technology options leaves many teachers feeling adrift. Indeed, a nationwide survey administered in 1999 asked teachers about their abilities to incorporate new technologies in the classroom. Only 20% reported feeling “well prepared to integrate educational technology into classroom instruction.” 2 As such, sustaining Arkansas’ edge in classroom technology requires an unstinting commitment at all levels – from the state capital to the schoolhouse. In this report, we briefly examine how technology is being integrated in each of the major geographical regions of the state. In addition, we focus on how technology is currently being employed in key areas as identified by the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) including: improving and streamlining communication; exploring human and social issues; enhancing students’ problem-solving and decision-making skills; raising awareness and use of technologies for research and investigation; and increasing productivity for both teachers and students. This report provides merely a snapshot of some of the innovative and effective uses of technology currently being employed in Arkansas classrooms. While the intent is not to provide a comprehensive examination of implementation of technology in the state, the examples contained herein are in some cases exceptional; yet many of the practices described are typical of the use of technology in today’s Arkansas classrooms. As previously stated, much remains to be done in the quest to maximize the benefits of technologies for Arkansas students, but the following examples demonstrate the progress and impact that are currently being made. 2 U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. “Teacher Quality: A Report on the Preparation and Qualifications of Public School Teachers, January 1999.” 4 “Students use telecommunications to collaborate, publish, and interact with peers, experts, and other audiences. Students use a variety of media and formats to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences.” (NETS, 2006) Technology is playing an increasingly important role in educational communication. While students have used tools like email and discussion boards to communicate for several years, newer applications like instant messaging and Google Apps make student interaction and collaboration easier than ever. Students can readily communicate with each other, learn from teachers, and interact with subject matter experts from afar without leaving the classroom. The availability of multimedia software allows students to express themselves and communicate in innovative and creative ways. Software products such as videos and podcasting are but two ways communication technologies are being used to introduce students to otherwise inaccessible educational experiences such as exposure to other regions, cultures, and beliefs. Below are a few examples of how Arkansas students and teachers are using a variety of communication technologies to go beyond the physical boundaries of the classroom and enhance the learning experience. Dover School District Grades K-12 Creating podcasts Students in the Dover School District produce music and podcasts covering a wide array of interests as a way to communicate with a variety of audiences. Anyone can subscribe to the Dover podcasts and listen to a second grade literacy group discuss Kenya, kindergartners talk about plants, and fifth graders explain facts about Arkansas History. Recently, students videotaped and created podcasts of Special Education students reading stories that they created and illustrated. Students at Dover are able to create these media rich podcasts by utilizing Apple's iLife® suite and mobile computer labs. The district has over 100 Macintosh computers and plans to continue expanding this project, which is funded by a .125% mill tax for technology and a lease agreement with Apple. 5 Educational research consistently demonstrates that students are more likely to sustain interest in activities where they are actively engaged, and at Dover students in all grades are actively engaged in podcasting. The district’s podcast project allows all students to learn how to effectively communicate with each other, but also how to communicate ideas and information to different audiences by developing products which are both interesting and entertaining. Forrest City School District High School Mustang Channel 17 Mustang Channel 17 is a television station produced by the Journalism I class at Forrest City High School, and broadcasted by the local cable company. The community relies on Mustang television for up-to-date information about school and local happenings. Channel 17 offers entertainment, coverage of area events, replays of the home team’s sporting events, and instructional programming to the community. In addition to learning communication skills, Forrest City students learn about program production and other technical aspects of putting on a television broadcast, including news reporting, graphics and video editing. Students conclude the school year with a video yearbook. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills identifies concerns about the changing nature of workforce, jobs, and skill demands. In addition to using the available technology to communicate with the school and local communities, the technology and interpersonal skills acquired in the production of Mustang Channel 17, through project-based learning, is preparing Forrest City students for a variety of work and educational settings. 6 These are just two of the many districts using technology for communication in innovative ways. Malvern and Russellville school districts use EDline, which fosters increased communication between parent, student, and teacher, by giving access to homework assignments and grades. Elkins School District uses compressed interactive video (CIV) to deliver instruction to students who are off-site, and Magnet Cove District uses CIV for teacher professional development. Compressed interactive video is just one form of communication technology that creates opportunities for people who might be limited by time, distance, or family obligations. Communication tools play a role in virtually every area of education today, and are growing richer and more sophisticated. Arkansas students must continue to acquire these new technology skills if they are to cross the digital divide and work in a competitive “global” economy. 7 “Understanding ethical, cultural, and societal issues related to technology including practices that reflect responsible use of technology systems, information, and software while fostering the development of positive attitudes toward technology uses that support lifelong learning, collaboration, personal pursuits, and productivity.” (NETS, 2006) As the world becomes more technologically connected barriers of time and space become virtually non-existent. Modes of information delivery are no longer limited to watching the nightly news or reading the morning paper. Rather, social and educational information can be sent to laptops, mobile phones, or PDA’s in an instant. In addition, not only can information be retrieved but it can be created just as quickly with collaborative knowledge tools such as Wikipedia®, or through social networking sites such as MySpace®. Given the infinite array of information available, creating responsible citizens in the use of technology and information is a critical component in the education of children for the 21st century. Ethical considerations such as digital rights, intellectual property, and privacy must be addressed. Likewise, students must learn how to utilize vast information sources to help them make informed educational and personal decisions. Aside from addressing areas of social and ethical concern, new technologies are also being used to tackle human issues. For example, the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) non- profit association has developed a $100 laptop expressly for the worlds poorest children. Similarly, in rural areas of the United States children who are burdened with extensive bus rides are benefiting from the Aspirnaut® (as'-per-not) Initiative which is providing students with portable technologies that will enable them to learn while en route to and from school. An example below demonstrates how Arkansas’ own Aspirnauts (a student who aspires, seeks, and achieves) are benefiting from these emerging technologies for education. Sheridan School District Grades K-12 The School Begins on the Bus Project http://www.aspirnaut.org/ 8 Figure 1 - Dr. Billy G. Hudson and Student on the Hi-Tech Bus (all bus images courtesy of Today’s THV – KTHV Little Rock News) The Sheridan school district and the Grapevine community are working in conjunction with Vanderbilt University’s Center for Science Outreach to research the objective of “School-begins-on-the- bus” which is part of the three year Aspirnaut® Initiative. The initiative was established by Dr. Billy G. Hudson in an effort to elevate mathematics and science achievement of students in rural schools. To transform the bus into a “mobile one-room schoolhouse/computer lab” the initiative uses broadband technologies from Internet In Motion® and Alltell Wireless to equip the bus with wireless high-speed Internet access that connects the students’ mobile iPod® devices (for K-5 grades) or laptops (for 6-12 grades). The laptops and iPods® are enabled with an individualized computer-based curriculum that focuses on mathematics and science content. Students are able to access math and science materials at any time during the 1.5 hour transit time to and from school (3 hours total trip time), thus allowing students to utilize travel time in a productive and educational manner. Although a full evaluation of this initiative is not available at this time, anecdotal evidence suggests the project is having a large impact on rural Sheridan students. As the article written by Jerod Clark for KTHV in Little Rock, Arkansas, states, “The first ride with the new gear was the quietest you’ll ever hear a school bus”. 9 Springhill School District Grades 6-12 “Baby Think It Over” Figure 2 - Image courtesy of realityworks.com catalog Springhill School District’s Family and Consumer Science students are utilizing computerized “baby dolls” in their “Baby Think It Over” program to teach social responsibility and decision-making. The interactive simulator doll developed by Realityworks® helps raise student awareness concerning problems associated with teen pregnancy. The RealCare® Parenting Program Curriculum was developed to include topics on decision-making, parenting readiness, goal setting, infant care and child 10 development. Each doll has computerized sensors that record rough handling and can detect rocking, burping and even senses motion during feeding so users can’t prop the bottle and walk away. Newer versions of the dolls simulate “shaken baby” and “fetal alcohol” syndromes. Through the use of computerized babies, Springhill students are able to make informed social and ethical decisions and experience the real consequences of “parenthood” without the permanent responsibility of having a child. The students care for the babies over an extended period of time, collect computerized data from the dolls into a notebook computer, and project results to a Smartboard® for class discussion. Research supports the use of computerized infant simulators as having a significant positive effect on participants compared with programs that rely upon curricula alone, and students at Springhill are learning life lessons from this real-world technology. Information access can have positive social impacts, and Arkansas schools are harnessing the power of various technologies to provide students with the information they need to make sound decisions and succeed. In addition to the previously mentioned examples, K-4 students at Conway School District are learning life skills using ViewTV, while students at Malvern have established an electronic WeatherBug® system and crisis plan to aid their community and the local Department of Emergency Services. With the help of technology and student ingenuity, social, ethical and human issues are being addressed to ensure students can become positive contributors to our schools, communities, state, and the world. 11 "Using technology resources for solving problems and making informed decisions and employing technology in the development of strategies for solving problems in the real world” (NETS, 2006) Remember when problem solving meant doing your math homework? Now, thanks to rapid advancements and increased access to technology, students are able to use "real- world" tools to explore problems and devise strategies applicable to situations that extend far beyond the classroom. Technology has traditionally been the key to rapid advancement in all areas of society and recent developments have improved the way we approach problems and make decisions across the spectrum. For example, geographic information systems (GIS) relate different types of spatial information to guide decision-making in areas such as engineering, environmental protection, or disaster planning. Computer simulations are another method to allow learners to explore true-to-life situations and make decisions based on accurate and realistic feedback. The examples that follow describe two programs that introduce Arkansas students to advanced problem solving tools that encourage their creativity while developing their decision-making skills. Fayetteville School District Grades 7-8 - Gifted and Talented Architecture Unit This year, seventh and eighth graders in Fayetteville's gifted and talented program learned about careers in architecture and landscape architecture in a semester-long problem-based program. Students first toured Fayetteville and researched local architecture before extending their research to the Internet to learn about internationally known architects. Participants also gained a better understanding of economics by preparing estimates of materials and labor for their own projects and tracked billable hours for the time spent working on their own models. Sketchup, a free software application that allows users to create 3D designs, was used to design models. Students then used foam core and other materials to physically construct the models. Students also used digital cameras to create images of their projects which were included in PowerPoint® presentations that the students gave for parents and members of the community upon completion of the project. Fayetteville 12 teachers were pleased with the results of the architecture unit and plan to use it again in the future to introduce students to 3D modeling and prepare them for the EAST program. Hamburg School District Grades 9-12 EAST Program Hamburg School District has participated in the EAST initiative since 1997. This innovative program originated in Greenbrier Arkansas in 1996 and since then has expanded to over 150 schools throughout the state as well as schools in California, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Louisiana. EAST prepares students for the future by providing learning experiences in which students gain hands-on experience using technology to address needs within the school and the community. The 2006-2007 school year has been a busy one for seventy 9th – 12th graders in the EAST program at Hamburg High School. Students in the EAST program take charge of their own learning experience by selecting a team to work with and identifying a school or community project to pursue. This year students employed technology in a multitude of ways as they worked on a variety of projects. For example, students used GPS and GIS technology to map the Overflow Wildlife Refuge Area. Students also used digital cameras and video editing equipment to prepare histories of Ashley County and Bayou Bartholomew. Some participants learned web design to create teacher web pages as well as web pages related to their EAST projects. Finally, students used Microsoft® PowerPoint and other Microsoft® Office products to produce materials for kindergarten identity cards, senior slideshow, anti-smoking presentations, EAST Conference presentations, and to design a Hamburg welcome sign for the city. Hamburg will also be holding their first EAST camp this summer. Hamburg High School is committed to the goals of the EAST program and hope to continue to expand the project in the future. The previous are just two examples of how Arkansas students gained practical experience solving real-world problems using technology in a hands-on learning environment. Students around the state are preparing for the future through innovative problem solving activities such as 3rd graders in the Lafayette County School District. These students used Science Court®, a fun and innovative program that provides them with evidence that they analyze and evaluate to develop understanding of science concepts. The fast paced change of technology allows learners unprecedented opportunities to experience realistic learning activities that prepare them to make intelligent decisions for the future. These experiences will guide them in the classroom and far beyond. Fortunately for today’s Arkansas student, problem solving doesn’t just mean doing your math homework anymore. 13 “Using technology tools to locate, evaluate, and collect/process information/data generating report results from a variety of sources. Students evaluate and select new information resources and technological innovations based on the appropriateness for specific tasks.” (NETS, 2006) Classroom technology has improved research capabilities in dramatically. Students no longer use a library’s card catalog in order to access resources. Indeed, research opportunities have greatly expanded, not only through the advent of the Internet, but also through innovative software that acts as a gateway to information. Thus, students and teachers are not bound by the constraints of a particular library’s holdings. Moreover, how students express the results of their research has expanded; what was once the standard research paper can now – through the use of new technologies – be a multi- media assignment, incorporating video, animation, and a wide assortment of other media. Fountain Lake High School Grades 9-12 EAST Lab Program Fountain Lake High School is one of many Arkansas schools that participate in the East (Environmental and Spatial Technology) initiative. The EAST model is recognized nationally as an innovative approach to learning. It is the result of partnerships between business, government, and education, including a self-directed, service-oriented project-based learning. EAST offers advanced opportunities for research by using a variety of computer hardware and software technology. Students are required to take the initiative in creating project solutions that produce measurable and tangible results. They are exposed to strategies that help them move from the traditional self-centered approaches of learning into more interdependent team approaches to problem resolution. The Fountain Lake High School Cobra EAST Lab was established in the 2000-2001 school year, with students in grades 9 through 12. 14 Since its inception, the lab at Fountain Lake has partnered with the Garland County Office of Emergency Management to create the base map for the county's natural disaster response plan. In addition, 8th grade students in the Hot Springs school district – using Internet research tools and employing digital editing software – have created a natural disaster movie to foster greater awareness of emergency management protocols, and to examine the history of natural disasters in the region. Schools that participate in the EAST initiative submit projects to the annual EAST partnership conference. The 2007 conference featured entries utilizing 3D laser scanning, virtual reality development, and a host of other high-tech platforms. Piggott School District Grades K-12 Athena Program The Piggott school district utilizes the Athena program, an award-winning, fully integrated library automation system combines circulation, catalog searching (OPAC), cataloging, and inventory functions in a single, user- friendly system. Athena features easy searching, fast cataloging, and streamlined circulation and inventory: Athena's three search options ensure that patrons find exactly what they need. Plus, handy icons help searchers immediately recognize found material types relevant to their search. Athena provides access to unique bibliographies with Visual Search. For instance, a history teacher can create a bibliography on the Civil War with biographies, magazine articles, web sites, video clips, and audio files. This information can then be given to the school librarian, who uploads it to Athena. Then, patrons who search for items about the Civil War can access all of these resources. Piggott’s implementation of Athena is funded through the library’s budget, and has been in use since 2001. Piggott High School also employs a server-based World Book® computer encyclopedia. These are but a few examples of how Arkansas classrooms are expanding their research options. For instance, in the Midland school district, 5th and 6th graders have been engaged in designing a “Dream Room,” a unique lesson plan that involves students incorporating research, mathematics, engineering, and their own creativity. The project 15 also entails the use of a number of different pieces of software. The Dream Room begins with an essay describing the floor plan. Students then use graphics software to create symbols for specific items in the room. These items are placed on an Excel grid in the precise position they will occupy in the room. The result is an interactive design that allows students to familiarize themselves with a number of programs. As Arkansas classrooms continue to broaden their research capabilities, the prospects for student and teacher research appear to be unlimited. 16 “Using productivity tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity through collaboration and constructing technology- enhanced models, preparation of publications, and producing other creative works.” (NETS, 2006) Technologies have historically been viewed as productivity tools, designed to accomplish daily tasks faster and more efficiently than previously possible. However, traditional views of productivity tools are changing, no longer limited to hard-wired desktop computers and paper-based word processors. Rather, both the tools and the work space are evolving, becoming more mobile and digital than every before. Productivity hardware now includes such technologies as Blackberries®, PDAs (Personal Digital Assistant), and UMPCs (Ultra Mobile Personal Computers). Similarly, software has shifted focus from stand-alone desktop packages to portable applications, multi-user document sharing, and online information management systems. The advances in productivity hardware and software are impacting businesses worldwide, but as the NETs definition asserts, these new productivity tools are also being used to promote a variety of highly desirable outcomes in K-12 education, such as enhanced learning, increased collaboration, and amplified creativity. Evidence of these outcomes are witnessed in many schools across Arkansas where new productivity technologies are being utilized in extraordinary ways to engage students, foster problem-solving, and increase learning. Highlighted below are two examples of how teachers and students are embracing and using these new technologies. Fort Smith School District Grades 4-6 PDA’s in the Classroom Through an award from the Arkansas Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) federal block grant, the Fort Smith School District impacts 18 teachers and over 500 students across three schools each year with the purchase of PalmOne Tungsten® handhelds. Every student in grades 4-6 receives a PDA, which is utilized daily for a multitude of tasks ranging from note-taking to practicing for benchmark examinations. 17 The handheld productivity devices have become an integral part of the classroom, allowing teachers and students to meet a wide range of ongoing educational needs. Teachers are able to use the devices to individualize instruction, afford students practice for standardized tests, and incorporate new ways of teaching curriculum. In particular, math and literacy applications are emphasized, but the handheld devices are also being used to aid students in promoting general skills such as problem solving, fostering team spirit, and encouraging higher-order thinking. George Lieux, Director of the Technology Academy in Fort Smith and leader of the PDA initiative, has observed that students' basic math and vocabulary skills improve at a faster pace. He also asserts that students' total engagement in reading and writing increases with the use of handheld devices. He attributes these desirable increases to the effective integration of the devices into the classroom and to the motivational factor that accompanies the use of the handheld technology. “Students enjoy using them,” Lieux states matter-of-factly. It is this enjoyment, coupled with skilled integration by teachers, that is engaging students and making a difference in the lives of Ft. Smith students. Fayetteville School District Grade 6 The Paperless Classroom A science instructor at Owl Creek Middle School is utilizing numerous productivity tools in his quest to achieve a “paperless” classroom. The goals of this pursuit are to enhance collaboration, develop 21st Century skill sets, and increase learning. To accomplish these tasks each child in Brent Smith’s 6th grade science class is equipped with a laptop at his/her desk, Internet connectivity, and Microsoft software productivity tools. Students in this “paperless” classroom work collaboratively with a variety of digital media to solve problems, build organizational skills, and increase their knowledge of science. An example of this includes a team-based research project where students investigate data-based web sites on the Internet, compile data in an Excel® spreadsheet, 18 compare the scientific data and draw conclusions on a discussion board, share drafts of a team report using Google Documents, and submit the final report via email. The teacher uses the tracking feature in Microsoft® Word to supply feedback and detailed suggestions on the report before sending it back to the team of students via email. Fayetteville is using a program titled Network Online that allows a user to retrieve documents from a district drive. This “drop folder” for finished assignments allows a teacher to retrieve and comment on student work. A drop folder is one that can only be accessed by the teacher. An added bonus of Network Online is a parent’s ability to log in to the student’s drive to review graded assignments – assignments that are often lost on the way home. Science and Math teachers in the middle school share a CPS – Classroom Performance System, or clickers. The clickers make it possible for informal assessment that provides immediate feedback without the use of paper or pencil. Activity scores are saved into a cumulative grade book so that teachers can assess change in understanding over a unit of study or over state curriculum frameworks. The benefit to students and their parents is seen as the increased organizational and digital literacy skills that are necessary for school achievement. This is especially important given the high number of free & reduced lunch students in this particular middle school. The benefit to the teacher is a decrease in the exchange of papers during valuable teaching time. The district plans to continue championing the use of paperless activities and will ask several other middle school teachers to participate next fall. Productivity tools are becoming more mobile and digital than ever before, and Arkansas classrooms are following suit. In addition to the classrooms highlighted above, schools in Arkansas are using a variety of productivity hardware and software to enhance learning. For example, Elkins School District is utilizing document cameras to facilitate group dissection in science classes, Calico Rock and Lakeside Districts are using Interwrite wireless pads to allow dynamic input from any student in the classroom, and Hot Springs District teachers are using multi-user document sharing to facilitate the development and dissemination of technology-infused lesson plans. These uses and many more illustrate that as productivity tools evolve, our schools are developing and embracing methods that make the best use of productivity technologies to enhance learning. Teachers are also taking advantage of digital productivity tools for curriculum design and professional development. Using the same tools their students employ, teachers are collaborating online with each other and with ADE to share ideas, discuss teaching methods, and build exemplary lesson plans that can be shared across the state. 19 As this report demonstrates, Arkansas has witnessed considerable progress in providing technology in the classroom. As the August 2006 Picus and Odden school funding recalibration report noted, instructional technology is integral to achieving adequacy.3 In some respects, Arkansas is ahead of most states in its use of educational technology. As policymakers debate how best to provide a solid education to students throughout the state, it is clear that compressed video delivery, distance learning strategies, and a host of other platforms will become more prevalent. Without question, Arkansas is on the right trajectory in this regard. However, much work remains. Anecdotal evidence suggests that many Arkansas teachers could improve and expand their utilization of technology if more professional development were offered. Ongoing technical assistance throughout the school year may be necessary as more – and more complex - software becomes available. While the state has made strides toward achieving greater technological capabilities, as information networks continue to broaden, the learning curve will only grow steeper. Accordingly, a sustained commitment from legislators, the Arkansas Department of Education, and teachers will be vital if Arkansas is to continue to make improvements in K-12 education. For more information or to download a copy of this report please visit: http://sceao.uark.edu/snapshot/ 3 Allen Odden, Lawrence O. Picus and Michael Goetz, “Recalibrating the Arkansas School Funding Structure,” Final Report, August, 2006. Available online at http://www.arsba.org/Assests/PDFS/Picus&Oden_RecalibratingARSchoolFunding_Final.pdf 20