The Arkansas Department of Education is making every effort to be proactive as we address questions about Smart Start. This brief note will address three areas. The areas are:
1. Gateway Assessments
The term "Gateway Assessments" is a term used by the Arkansas Department of Education before the development of the State's Performance Assessments. Therefore, Gateway Assessments are the Performance Assessments; replace the term Gateway Assessments with the term Performance Assessments. Subsequently, the assessment tools that teachers may use are called Performance Assessments. These assessments are categorized by K-2, 2-4, and 4 and higher. Distribution of the Performance Assessments will begin February 4, 1999.
2. Keep The Performance Assessment Model Consistent
Performance Assessments are designed to be used by the classroom teacher. Districts may use the Performance Assessments to determine grade level for students. Therefore, it is not permissible to change the content of the Performance Assessments. Additionally, the Performance Assessments are aligned with the State's standards (Curriculum Frameworks). Changes in the Performance Assessments by local districts may cause problems with alignment of the Performance Assessments to the State's curriculum standards.
3. State Curriculum Standards (Curriculum Frameworks)
Questions have been raised regarding what are the State's standards. The State's standards are the Arkansas Curriculum Frameworks.