ADE Director's Communication Memo Form

Memo Number : SI-99-034

Date Created : 10/07/1998


Co-op Directors
Secondary Principals
Elementary Principals
Middle School Principals
High School Principals
other: Book Depositories

Type of Memo: Informational
Response Required: No
Section:   School Improvement and Instructional Support - Dr. Kevin Penix
Mathematics for Smart Start

Regulatory Authority:

Contact Person:
Gayle Potter

Phone Number:


The Arkansas Department of Education has received inquiries regarding vendor materials which are endorsed for Smart Start. The purpose of this memorandum is to clarify what appears to be some misunderstandings on this topic.

Smart Start is a four-part systemic approach to improving student achievement in K-4, bringing all students to grade level performance in reading and math by the end of grade 4. Standards, standards-based student assessment, professional development, and accountability comprise the major elements of this improvement effort. There are no vendor materials which have been developed for Smart Start, nor does the Arkansas Department of Education endorse any particular vendor materials as part of the Smart Start Initiative. Any claims to the contrary are erroneous.

This fact also applies to the Grade 4 and 8 Benchmark Examinations. Indeed, depending on the individual school, improved student performance may result from significant changes in instructional strategies and in teacher-made assessments which are more rigorous and are designed for more application and problem solving. In such a case, there may be no need for additional vendor materials or for a change in vendor materials at all.


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