Recently, you received a letter from the Foundation of the MidSouth concerning an opportunity to participate in a comprehensive self-study of the middle grades (5-8) in your district. The self-study is to be paid for by an initiative funded through the Kellogg Foundation. The cost of the services, if bought by an individual district, is approximately $3,000. The self-study is the most comprehensive and appropriate survey instrument I have seen in my tenure in education. Since 1993, the Carnegie Middle Grade School State Policy Initiative in Arkansas has used the same self-study to assist in planning for the middle grades reform in the twelve districts chosen as Carnegie Systemic Change Schools. The information gained from the statewide data will play an instrumental role in the development of the next phase of the Smart Start Initiative. For all the reasons above, I ask you to seriously consider this opportunity.
We have had a response of about 70 middle level schools in Arkansas. I encourage you to consider participating in this self-study. The information gained from the self-study can be used as part of the COE process to help determine needs for organizational, curriculum, and instructional changes. The self-study consists of approximately 200 questions that are not commonly found on surveys given to school personnel - teachers and students. The self-study is scheduled to be given in Arkansas beginning in February of 1999. This will provide some baseline data for your middle grades. In the fall of 1999, a very comprehensive parent survey will be administered to your middle level grades. In the spring of 1999, the self-study will be administered again for collection of data that will be charted and graphed to provide comparative data to see if improvements are visable. There is also a process whereby acheivement data can be correlated with the perceptual data. My office will be working with the Center for Prevention, Research and Development at the University of Illinois to obtain the data and work with the school in the use of the data. If you desire more information about the self-study, you may call my office and my secretary can fax you the additional information.
I am enclosing a copy of the sign-up sheet with the locations of the training sessions on the self-study. If your district wishes to participate and cannot possibly attend one of the sessions, please notify my office.
If you should have any questions concerning this self-study, please feel free to call my office at (501) 682-5752. I realize the time schedule is very close, but I felt it most important to call this to your attention again.
NOTE: There is a paper attachment to this memo that will be delivered in the next bulk mailing.