Wednesday, January 20, 2016
By RAY BENTON
Leader sports editorThe Lonoke basketball teams got mixed results Friday night at eStem Charter School. The boys stopped a two-game skid with a dominant 60-32 victory while the girls lost for the second time in a row, dropping a 46-41 decision to the Mets. Last Tuesday, Lonoke suffered a 68-48 loss to No. 1 ranked and undefeated Riverview.
The boys controlled the action in their game from beginning to end. The Jackrabbits were hot from the floor early, and that’s always a big plus for a streaky shooting team like Lonoke.
“We hit shots early,” said Lonoke coach Dean Campbell. “When we come right out and shoot well, it’s also a big boost to our defensive energy. Justin Meadows was able to get out defensively and get a couple deflections, get in transition and get a couple dunks. That all really energized us from the outset and we were able to maintain it for the most part. I felt like Friday night was one of our best efforts for a complete game as far as getting everyone involved.”
Bryson Jackson hit four 3-pointers in the first half, two in each quarter. He and Meadows led Lonoke with 13 points each, while Kylan Branscomb scored 10 for the Jackrabbits.
Lonoke led eStem (11-9, 3-5) 23-7 at the end of the first quarter and added to that lead every period.
The win comes on the heels of back-to-back losses to CAC and Riverview. The Raiders are undefeated in conference play, putting a conference title out of reach for the Jackrabbits (10-8, 3-6). But Campbell still thinks his team is one capable of making some noise in the postseason if it continues to improve and peaks at the right time.
“We have to sort out a couple of things defensively,” Campbell said. “If we could make a run here, we could easily get to 8-8 and that will put us in a good seeding for district. But for us right now, it’s one game at a time. That’s the approach we’re going to have to take because sitting here 3-6 doesn’t give us much leeway.”
The Lady Jackrabbits (12-6, 5-4) fell behind early, but bounced back to outscore eStem 14-5 in the second quarter and take a 20-16 lead into halftime. That lead was down to 31-30 by the end of the third quarter, and eStem’s Bucknell signee Gia Hayes led a 16-10 fourth quarter to give the Lady Mets (19-5, 6-2) the victory.
“We’re so close, man, we’re so close,” said Lonoke girls’ coach Nathan Morris. “You hate to say that it’s still youth this time of year, but the fact of the matter is, we’re doing some things that happened when you’re playing a lot of freshmen and sophomores. And we’re still overcoming that. Everybody is disappointed in getting beat, but we knew there would be games we’d lose that we shouldn’t. And we knew we would win games we may not be expected to win. The one thing I like about this team above everything else is this. We have had the game where we just came out flat and didn’t have a good effort. We’ve gone toe-to-toe with good teams and just come up short at times.”
Hayes led all scorers with 18 points, but Morris thought sophomore guard Mariah Adams did the most damage.
She’s a 5-foot-10 guard who was able to get inside and steadily hurt us with some floaters right when they needed them,” Morris said of Adams. “Gia Hayes is a great player, but I thought we did a pretty good job on her, keeping her to 18. But they’ve got other weapons and those girls came through for them.”
Adams finished with 14 points.
Jarrelyn McCall led Lonoke with 14 points while Ashlyn Allen and Keiunna Walker scored nine apiece.
Posted by THE LEADER at 10:34 AM
By RAY BENTON
Cabot has a few more matches before the conference meet at Maumelle on Feb. 12. The Panthers will host the 7A/6A state tournament at Allfam on Feb. 17.
Leader sports editor
The Cabot bowling teams are undefeated so far this season after adding wins over Riverview and Benton last week at Allfam Bowling Center in Cabot. The Panther boys are the four-time defending state champions and have no intentions of letting that streak end this year. Last year’s championship team lost its top bowler, but brings back most everyone else who played a key role in last year’s title-winning performance.
First-year coach Clark Bing believes his group should be one of the leading contenders again this year.
“I think beating Benton is a good measuring stick because they’re always pretty good,” said Bing. “Benton has won a state championship and finished runner-up to us a couple years running. Of course, you never know what’s going to come out of the West (Conference). But we should be up there for sure.”
Bing says consistency is the key to a fifth-straight championship. Though undefeated, bowlers weren’t keeping scores up from one game to the next early on. The head coach sees that changing.
“For example, Josh Imhoff had a very good day last Thursday,” Bing said. “He went 267 and 268 in consecutive games. It’s hard to repeat when you bowl that well, and to bowl on pin better said a lot about how focused he was and was able to maintain it. We’re seeing that a little more.”
Imhoff, a sophomore, had the high score in the conference meet last year as a freshman. Senior Blake Palladino and junior Cole Stillman have also shown increased steadiness.
“We talk a lot about bowling above your average at game time,” Bing said. “We’re starting to see that more and more. Keaton Hayes is another kid that had a very good day last Friday. He bowled well above his average in both games against Benton.”
No one has approached record-breaking scores like Cayden Cook did in Cabot’s 2014 championship. The 2015 team managed another title without that kind of performance, and Bing believes this group can do the same after losing another top senior.
“There’s no one standout,” Bing said. “It’s been different people here and there playing above their average, and that’s our goal right now.”
On the girls’ side, Hayleigh Baugh, Micah Perry and Emily Tripp are leading the way. Sophomore Olivia New came through with a 199 against Benton, which is not her best game ever, but above her average. The Lady Panthers have also won four state championships, but never back-to-back. They have alternated between champion and runner-up the last eight years.
“I think we definitely have the potential to repeat,” Bing said. “Like I said, you never know what’s coming from the West. And if we go out there and all bowl above our average and get beat, you just have to congratulate the winner. If we go out there and don’t bowl well, that’s our fault. So we’re working hard right now on being consistent and limiting those lapses.”
Posted by THE LEADER at 10:33 AM
By GRAHAM POWELL
Friday’s 5A-Central Conference matchup between Jacksonville and Beebe was close after a quarter of play, but the more talented Red Devils separated themselves on the scoreboard in the second quarter and built on their lead from there, beating the Badgers 75-45 at Beebe.
Jacksonville (11-5, 3-1) scored the first five points of the conference game on a basket by Marice Lambert and three by DaJuan Ridgeway. Beebe (2-10, 0-4), though, closed to within 13-12 of Jacksonville’s lead, scoring the last two points on a pair of free throws by Tyler Bradberry with 2:05 left in the first quarter.
Jacksonville’s LaQuawn Smith and Chris Williams added the last two baskets of the quarter to make the score 17-12. The second quarter was a different story, as the Red Devils outscored the host Badgers 24-11 in that eight-minute span to lead 41-23 at halftime.
“We had a lot of defensive breakdowns,” said Jacksonville coach Victor Joyner. “We’ve got a lot of stuff to work on. We’ve got to be better, communication-wise, defensively. Offensively, early on we were impatient.”
Jacksonville opened the second half with an 8-0 run to further its lead to 49-23. Beebe answered with a 7-3 run, but the lead went back to 26 on a spectacular and-1 by Smith with 1:02 left in the third quarter.
Smith drove down the middle of the lane, went up for a right-handed contested layup, first aiming for the right side of the glass, then in midflight while facing the front of the goal and Beebe defenders, switched directions and laid it in off the left side of the glass, while still using his right hand.
That made the score 64-38. Smith then added the final bucket of the quarter on a buzzer-beating alley-oop lay-in, receiving the pass from Tyree Appleby. That made the score 66-38 at the start of the fourth.
The Red Devils invoked the sportsmanship rule with 6:21 left to play on a free throw by Antoine Davis, which made the score 72-42. With the clock running continuously, the two teams added three points apiece to their sides of the board, setting the final score.
“I thought they settled down and worked the ball a little better in the second half,” Joyner said. “We moved the ball around and we made their defense shift. When you can get the defense shifting then you can get open glides and open shots. We did a better job in the second half of moving the ball.”
Jacksonville finished the game 26 for 46 from the floor for 57 percent. Beebe was 14 for 36 from the floor for 39 percent. From the free-throw line, the Red Devils made 19 of 30 attempts and the Badgers made 14 of 20. From 3-point range, JHS made 3 of 11 attempts and the hosts made 3 of 13.
Beebe outrebounded Jacksonville 25-16, but the Red Devils won the turnover category 7-20.
The win keeps the Red Devils on pace with three other 5A-Central teams that share the league lead. Pulaski Academy, J.A. Fair and Mills are also 3-1. McClellan and Sylvan Hills are just a game behind at 2-2 while Beebe and North Pulaski are winless in league play.
Smith led all scorers with 17 points. Appleby and Bralyn James added 11 points each and Ridgeway and Harderrious Martin scored eight points apiece.
Brad Worthington led Beebe with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Austin Moore scored nine points, all of which came in the second half.
Posted by THE LEADER at 10:32 AM
By GRAHAM POWELL
The Beebe girls claimed sole position of the top spot in the 5A-Central Conference on Friday at home, and did so in a big way, as the Lady Badgers took a double-digit lead into halftime and maintained that double-digit lead throughout the second half en route to a 52-35 win over Jacksonville.
Beebe (13-4, 4-0) and Jacksonville (9-8, 3-1) entered Friday’s conference game as the last two unbeaten teams in the 5A-Central. The Lady Badgers started the game strong and outscored the Lady Red Devils 14-5 in the first quarter.
Jacksonville cut the lead to six at the 6:19 mark of the second quarter. A 3-pointer by Desiree Williams made the score 16-10, but the Lady Badgers ended the first half with a 13-2 run to take a commanding 29-12 lead into halftime.
“We got off to a good start,” said Beebe coach Greg Richey. “I thought my bench came in and did a good job. We got into a little bit of foul trouble with our point guard (Taylor McGraw). We know that when we play Jacksonville it’s going to be a battle.
“We know it’s going to be a tough, competitive game. They came in 3-0 in conference and I didn’t expect them to go away. I knew that if we’d get out to a lead that they wouldn’t go away, but we kind of kept it 15 to 18 points most of the time.”
Jacksonville’s game plan coming in was to slow Beebe’s offense down, but that game plan wasn’t executed, according to head coach Crystal Scott.
“Our game plan coming in was to slow them down and we abandoned that in the first two minutes of the ballgame,” said Scott. “We never got into what we wanted to do. We didn’t play well, but Beebe had a lot to do with that.
“They’re a well-coached ballclub. I know coach Richey, he’s a great person. They’ve got super kids and they were just bigger and stronger than us. They had a good game plan, their kids executed. We didn’t do a good job of executing, but like I said, they had a lot to do with that.”
McGraw scored on the first possession of the second half to push the Lady Badgers’ lead to 19, 31-12, and Beebe went up 34-13 on a Libbie Hill three near the six-minute mark of the third quarter.
Jacksonville made it 37-20 with 1:51 left in the third on an Alexis James three, but Beebe’s lead was 19 by the end of the quarter, with the score 41-22.
The Lady Red Devils made it a 15-point game on another three by Williams with 5:23 left to play. That made the score 43-28. Beebe responded with a 6-2 run to push its lead back to 19, 49-30.
The lead was also 19 when Beebe scored its final point of the game – a McGraw free throw with 1:05 to play. Asia Williams scored the last points of the game on a basket with 20 seconds remaining.
Friday’s game marked Beebe’s first win against JHS since joining the Central Conference. Jacksonville swept the Lady Badgers last season.
Two different Lady Badgers scored in double figures. Gracie Anders led the way with 13 points and 13 rebounds. McGraw scored 11. Hill added nine.
Desiree Williams was the only Jacksonville player that scored in double figures. She had 12 points and James scored nine.
Posted by THE LEADER at 10:31 AM
(This is the last in a series of editorials on the life of former Arkansas senator and governor Dale Bumpers, who died on New Year’s Day at the age of 90.)
Dale Bumpers’ first legislative victory as senator was passage of a law in 1975 letting driver make right turns on red lights if traffic was clear. The nation was in the midst of an energy crisis and he said drivers would save millions of gallons of gas a year if they did not have to idle at corners where the traffic was light.
As he did as governor, Bumpers marched to his own drummer, usually at odds with nearly all Southern members of Congress, on constitutional amendments, taxes and social justice. He usually came home, made speeches explaining unpopular votes like school prayer, flag desecration, racial busing, taxes and foreign policy. In 1981, he was one of only three senators who voted for unpopular budget cuts but against popular tax cuts, the key components of President Reagan’s program. He said the tax cuts would lead to huge budget deficits, which they did.
If voters were dissatisfied, they never manifested it at the polls, except after his vote ratifying the treaty that returned control of the Panama Canal to the country of Panama. Bumpers said later that if he had had a strong opponent in 1980 he would have been beaten. He lost his home county in the Democratic primary that year.
When Republicans ran against him in 1980, 1986 and 1992 they cited GOP roll-call analyses that Bumpers had voted with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, the liberal icon, 98 (or similar numbers) percent of the time. They have it exactly backwards, Bumpers would say. “Ted Kennedy voted with me 98 percent of the time.”
As a senator, Bumpers developed a close friendship and alliance with David Pryor, who followed him in the governor’s office and in the Senate. It was one of the rare instances in the Senate where there was not a natural rivalry between senators of the same state and even of the same party.
Bumpers, who passed away at the of 90 on New Year’s Day, admired President Clinton both for his skills and his toughness. Bumpers briefly ran for president in 1983–84, making the midterm “cattle shows” of the candidates and getting glowing reviews by political commentators, but pulled out early, owing partly to his and his wife’s fragile health at the time, but also to the gnawing conclusion that he simply was not prepared for the brutal campaigns that were developing and the need to raise lots of money.
But in 1987, he actually made extensive preparations to run for the nomination in 1988 and called a news conference. Many Democratic senators lined up to support him. But knee surgeries left him in considerable pain and he changed his mind at the last minute and did not run. Sen. Paul Simon of Illinois, his biggest supporter, then made the race along with two other Senate friends, Joe Biden of Delaware and Al Gore of Tennessee. Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis won the nomination and was beaten by George H.W. Bush.
After watching at close hand the partisan assault on Clintons from the beginning of his 1992 campaign through eight years of his presidency, Bumpers said a few years ago that he had finally realized that if had been tormented by the silly charge that he took a bag of bills at a New York airport while he was taking his daughter to a Massachusetts hospital and by the trifling ethical slips by people who worked under him he could not have survived the continual assaults on a president. He eventually decided that his father would not have been disappointed in him.
After retiring, Bumpers briefly ran a defense think tank and associated with a Washington, D.C., law firm but sold his home and moved to his home in Little Rock. His eldest son, Brent Bumpers, was a federal prosecutor at Little Rock and then a businessman. His other son, Bill Bumpers, practices environmental law with a Washington law firm. His daughter, Brooke, who also is a lawyer with a Washington firm, moved back to Little Rock with her family but continues her practice.
— Ernie Dumas
Posted by THE LEADER at 10:25 AM
By GARRICK FELDMAN
Leader executive editor
Jacksonville residents are fortunate that U.S. District Judge D. Price Marshall Jr., a brilliant jurist, is overseeing their move toward independence from the Pulaski County Special School District after decades of turmoil.
With encouragement from Judge Marshall, let’s hope voters will approve a 7.6-mill property tax increase on Feb. 9 to pay for $80 million in school improvements. Early voting begins Feb. 2.
The new district has bounced around from court to court, often encountering judges who knew nothing about the needs of Jacksonville students. But Marshall understands what the new district needs: Modern facilities with knowledgeable staff dedicated to improving student test scores and turning out young scholars who can compete in our modern world.
Marshall, who is in the mold of Learned Hand (the greatest federal judge who never made it to the Supreme Court), last week approved Jacksonville’s facilities plan despite an objection from civil rights attorney John Walker.
Although far from perfect, the facilities plan includes a new high school on the site of the old middle schools, a new elementary school near the air base, remodeling North Pulaski High School as a middle school and adding multi-purpose buildings at all of the other elementary schools.
Marshall cautioned that building a new high school and an elementary school is only a start. The new district must also work toward arranging state financing and replace its four other dilapidated elementary schools that should have been demolished years ago.
He wants Jacksonville schools as up to date as those in Maumelle and Sherwood that the Joshua Intervenors and Walker cited on behalf of minority students.
The judge could also point to the new Lighthouse Academy Charter Schools in Jacksonville and on the air base, as well as new facilities in Cabot and elsewhere that meet standards required by the state and federal courts. Surely youngsters in Jacksonville deserve no less.
“We must not let the perfect become the enemy of the good,” wrote Marshall as he signed off on the Jacksonville-North Pulaski School District’s master facilities plan.
“The court holds that JNPSD’s proposed master facilities plan, though incomplete, keeps faith with Plan 2000 and is likely to promote, not hinder, eliminating the vestiges of past discrimination insofar as practical,” Marshall wrote.
“The proposed master plan is approved with an important condition: it must be supplemented by (Dec. 31, 2016) with when-and-how specifics about replacing the four other elementary schools, so that all the new district’s elementary schools are equal. Joshua’s objections are overruled and its request for an evidentiary hearing is denied.”
The new district says there won’t be enough money to build six new elementaries. “That murky and complicated future, however, is precisely why JNPSD needs a complete plan for replacing all elementary facilities — with options, contingencies, fallbacks and play in the joints to accommodate the developing circumstances,” the judge wrote.
Marshall gave the district until the end of this year to draft a new master plan for 2019, when a new round of state school partnership matching money becomes available that would replace the four other elementary schools.
JNP Superintendent Tony Wood told our reporter John Hofheimer that a new facilities plan is in the works even as the district prepares for the Feb. 9 millage-tax increase and becomes fully independent July 1.
Marshall noted that the facilities master plan would be “a significant step toward equal facilities for all students. The new high school and middle school will serve children of all races. Locating the high school in downtown Jacksonville signals a commitment — not only to that city’s hub, but to the many African-American families and their children who live close by.”
Walker objected to combining Arnold Drive elementary school on the air base and the nearby Tolleson elementary into a new school along the base perimeter, calling it a gift to white students. Apparently, Walker hasn’t been on the base to notice how many minority students come from military families.
Marshall dismissed Walker’s claim that the new elementary “would become a white-flight school.” The judge pointed out the Defense Department would pay up to half the cost of the new elementary school, which shows “good stewardship of limited public dollars, not discriminatory intent,” he wrote.
But Marshall is still not satisfied: “There’s something missing,” he continued. “No plan or timetable for replacing the four other elementary schools (Bayou Meto, Dupree, Pinewood and Taylor) is included.”
Marshall wrote, “To achieve unitary status, JNPSD must have a plan for making all facilities clean, safe, attractive and equal and must be implementing that plan in good faith to the extent practicable.”
The 7.6-mill tax increase, if passed, would make property tax millage in the district 48.3 mills, the same as North Little Rock, and about 2 mills higher than the Little Rock School District — 46.4 mills.
The new district is preparing a budget of about $37 million to $40 million, including new taxes for next year, minimum foundation aid from the state and a one-time state desegregation payment of about $5 million.
Funding is not guaranteed, but Jacksonville could show Judge Marshall how the new district will not only put its finances in order but make JNPSD a beacon of hope for its students.
Walker could still take his case to the Eighth U.S. Court of Appeals, where Marshall might serve one day, probably with as much distinction as he has in Arkansas.
Once Marshall releases the Jacksonville district from court supervision, the JNPSD board should consider naming the new high school for the distinguished jurist.
Marshall High School has a nice ring to it.
Posted by THE LEADER at 10:24 AM
By RICK KRON
Leader staff writer
Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of three articles examining the recently released PARCC scores.
Not a single eighth grader in The Leader’s coverage area exceeded expectations on last year’s statewide assessment, known as PARCC.
Also, Jacksonville Middle School had the lowest math scores in sixth, seventh and eighth grades. The eighth grade average math score of 694 was the sixth worse in the state and second worse in the district (Fuller Middle School had a 684).
In April 2015, the state gave its annual mandated assessments, but this time it was not the long-used Benchmark Exam. It was a new, more computer-oriented test known as PARRC.
But that particular testing format received a lot of controversy, and the state decided to scrap it, limiting the validity of the results.
Starting this year, students will take a different computer-oriented assessment called ACT/Aspire, which education officials say is not as rigorous as the PARCC, but still more difficult and demanding than the Benchmark.
Overall, the PARCC test show students scored significantly higher in literacy than math. Sixty percent of JMS eighth graders did not meet expectations, and 50 percent of Lighthouse Middle School eight graders also failed to meet expectations in math.
On the positive side, 61 percent of Carlisle sixth grades met or exceeded expectations in literacy and 54 percent of the Flightline Academy sixth graders did the same, as did 62 percent of the school’s seventh graders.
Based upon assessment scores, a student can be at a Level 5, exceeding expectations for that grade level; Level 4, meeting expectations for that grade level; Level 3, approaching grade-level expectations; Level 2, partially meeting expectations and needing intervention or additional help; and Level 1, not yet meeting grade expectations and needing additional help.
“For the Beebe School District, I thought the results of the PARCC were somewhat inconsistent,” said Dr. Belinda Shook, head of that district.
“For example, we compared ourselves to the state average and it was almost an every-other-grade inconsistency in the scores. One grade, we were much higher than the state average, the next grade we were lower. I don’t think there is that much variation between how our third- and fourth-grade teachers teach. They were all using the Common Core Standards. That makes me question whether it was a standards problem or an assessment problem with cut-off scores,” Shook said.
Lonoke School Superintendent Suzanne Bailey said, “Specifically for middle school, the assessments showed we need to focus on major content in math and written expression for literacy. We continue to excel in our Algebra I scores at the middle level.
“We know that test scores are just a snapshot of a period of time in a student’s academic year. They do, however, provide us with key information that is important to note as we continue to help students of the Lonoke district to be college- and career-ready,” Bailey said.
In math, Jacksonville eighth graders had a mean score of 694, with none of its students meeting or exceeding expectations. Sixty percent of the students did not meet any expectations, while 10 percent were listed as approaching goals. In literacy, the mean score was 710, with 1 percent exceeding goals, 13 percent meeting expectations and 21 percent approaching, but 39 percent failed to meet expectations.
Seventh graders had one of the lowest mean math scores in the area at 710. The school had 5 percent of its students meeting expectations, 21 percent approaching and 32 percent not meeting expectations. In literacy, the mean score was 714 with 3 percent exceeding expectations, 12 percent meeting expectations, 17 percent approaching goals and 39 percent failing to make the goals.
Sixth graders had a mean math score of 716, one of the lowest in the area, with 9 percent meeting expectations, 25 percent approaching and 26 percent not meeting goals at all.
In its last year of existence, Northwood Middle School posted a mean math score of 704 among its eighth graders, with 1 percent meeting expectations, 17 percent approaching goals and nearly half (49 percent) not meeting expectations. For literacy, the mean score was 727, with 1 percent exceeding goals, 25 percent meeting expectations and 30 percent approaching the state-set goals for eighth grade. The school had 18 percent not meet expectations.
Northwood seventh graders had a mean math score of 721, with 10 percent meeting expectations, 32 percent approaching and 14 percent not meeting expectations. For literacy, the mean score was 729, with 1 percent exceeding goals, 28 percent meeting goals and 30 percent approaching expectations. Eighteen percent failed to meet expectations in any manner.
The school’s sixth graders had a mean math score of 719, with 12 percent meeting expectations, 25 percent approaching them and 19 percent not hitting expectations. In literacy, the mean score was 733, with 31 percent meeting the mandated goals, 34 percent approaching them and 12 percent not meeting the expectations.
Sylvan Hills eighth graders had a math mean score of 706, with 3 percent meeting expectations, 21 percent approaching and 42 percent not meeting goals. In literacy, the mean score was 725, with 2 percent exceeding goals, 20 percent meeting them, 31 percent approaching expectations and 18 percent not meeting the expectations at all.
Seventh graders at Sylvan Hills Middle School had a math mean score of 726, with 15 percent meeting goals, 38 percent approaching them and 11 percent not reaching expectations. In literacy, the mean score was 730, with 3 percent exceeding expectations, 24 percent meeting them, 33 percent approaching and 15 percent not making the goals.
Sixth graders scored a mean of 723 in math, with 1 percent exceeding expectations, 30 percent approaching them and 19 percent failing to reach expectations. For literacy, the mean score was 729, with 1 percent exceeding expectations, 22 percent meeting them, 36 percent approaching and 15 percent not up to par.
At the Jacksonville Lighthouse Charter School, eighth graders scored a mean of 704 in math, with no students exceeding or meeting goals, 8 percent approaching expectations and 50 percent not meeting the goals. For literacy, the mean score was 741, with no students exceeding goals, but 42 percent did meet them and another 28 percent were approaching expectations. The school had 8 percent of its eighth graders not meet literacy goals.
Seventh graders at the Light-house Middle School had a mean math score of 712, with no one exceeding or meeting expectations, but 29 were approaching goals and 18 percent failed to meet expectations. In literacy, the mean score was 741, with 6 percent exceeding expectations, 33 percent meeting the goals, 30 percent approaching them and 9 percent not meeting expectations.
Lighthouse sixth graders had a mean math score of 724, with 11 percent meeting expectations, 39 percent approaching them and 13 percent not making the goals. In literacy, the mean score was 736, with 28 percent meeting the goals, 39 percent approaching them and 7 percent not making expectations.
At the Lighthouse’s Flightline Academy, the mean math score was 706, with no one scoring in the exceeding or meeting goals categories. Nine percent did score in the approaching range, while 36 percent failed to meet expectations.
Flightline Academy seventh graders had a mean math score of 736, with 3 percent exceeding expectations, 28 percent meeting goals, 40 percent approaching them and just 3 percent failing to meet expectations. In literacy, students had a mean score of 755, the highest in the area. Eighteen percent of the seventh graders exceeded expectations, 44 percent met them, 22 percent were approaching and 4 percent didn’t meet mandated goals.
Sixth graders had a mean math score of 741, with 4 percent exceeding expectations, 35 percent meeting them, 31 percent approaching expectations and 8 percent missing the mark.
At Cabot Junior High South, the mean math score was 723, with 11 percent exceeding goals, 34 percent approaching expectations and 19 percent failing to meet standards. In literacy, the mean score was 731, with 2 percent exceeding expectations, 25 meeting goals, 32 percent approaching and 15 percent not meeting expectations.
Seventh graders at CJH South had a math mean score of 736, with 2 percent exceeding expectations, 27 percent meeting the goals, 39 percent approaching them and just 5 percent not meeting any goals. For literacy, the mean score was 734, with 2 percent of the students exceeding expectations, 31 percent meeting the expectations and another 31 percent approaching goals, but 13 percent did not meet any goals.
Sixth graders at Cabot Middle School South had a mean math score of 743, with 4 percent exceeding the goals, 39 percent meeting them, 32 percent approaching and 7 percent failing to meet expectations. In literacy, the mean score was 746, with 3 percent exceeding expectations, 43 percent meeting them, 35 percent approaching expectations and 5 percent failing expectations.
The eighth-grade students at Cabot Junior High North had a higher math mean score at 730. The school had 17 percent of its students meet expectations, 31 percent were listed as approaching, and 14 percent did not meet expectations. The literacy mean score was 740, with 4 percent exceeding expectations, 36 percent meeting goals, 29 percent approaching and 14 percent failing to meet expectations.
Cabot North seventh graders had a mean math score of 739, the best in the area, with 3 percent exceeding expectations, 29 percent meeting goals, 42 percent approaching and 5 percent not making the goals at all. In literacy, the mean score was 736, with 8 percent exceeding goals, 27 percent meeting them, 30 percent approaching expectations and 12 percent not meeting them.
Cabot Middle School North sixth graders had a mean math score of 740, with 3 percent exceeding goals, 35 percent meeting them and the same percentage approaching expectations. Five percent of the sixth graders did not meet expectations. In literacy, the mean score was 744, with 2 percent exceeding goals, 41 percent meeting them, 34 percent approaching all the goals and 5 percent not reaching them.
The district’s behavior academy, the Academic Center for Excellence, had enough eighth graders for the scores to be tabulated. At ACE, the math mean score was 720 with 10 percent meeting expectations, 40 percent approaching and 30 percent not making the goals in any manner. For literacy, the mean score was 733, with 9 percent exceeding goals, 9 percent meeting expectations and 36 percent approaching the state-mandated goals. The school had no students in the bottom category of not meeting expectations. ACE did not test enough sixth or seventh graders for the state to publish results.
Lonoke’s eighth graders had one of the better math mean scores in the area with a 724. Fourteen percent of the students met expectations, and 39 percent were approaching, while 19 percent failed to meet standards. In literacy, the mean score was 727, with 1 percent of the students exceeding expectations, 22 meeting goals and 31 percent approaching them. Lonoke had 20 percent of its students not meet expectations.
In math, seventh graders had a mean score of 728, with 17 percent meeting expectations, 41 percent approaching goals and 10 percent not meeting goals. In literacy, the mean score was 720, with 2 percent exceeding expectations, 12 percent meeting expectations, 32 percent approaching and 28 percent not meeting expectations.
Sixth graders at Lonoke Middle School had a mean math score of 728, with 1 percent exceeding expectations, 18 percent meeting expectations, 35 percent approaching the goals and 12 percent not making the goals in any form. In literacy, the mean score was 734, with 1 percent of the sixth graders exceeding goals, 26 percent meeting them, 42 percent approaching expectations and 10 percent not meeting goals.
Eighth graders in Beebe had a mean math score of 739, the highest in The Leader coverage area, with 35 percent meeting goals, 34 percent approaching and 9 percent not meeting goals. In literacy, the mean score was 741, with 4 percent exceeding expectations, 33 percent meeting them, 34 percent approaching them and 10 percent not meeting expectations.
Seventh graders in Beebe had a mean math score of 734, with 2 percent exceeding expectations, 22 percent meeting goals, 40 percent were approaching them and 9 percent failed to meet expectations. In literacy, the mean score was 736, with 6 percent exceeding goals, 29 percent meeting them, 33 percent approaching expectations and 13 percent missing the mark completely.
Beebe sixth graders had a mean math score of 732, with 24 percent meeting expectations, 36 percent approaching them and 6 percent not making them. In literacy, it was a 740 mean score, with 2 percent exceeding goals, 32 percent meeting them, 43 percent approaching expectations and 7 percent missing the mark.
At Badger Academy, eighth graders had a mean math score of 702, with 10 percent meeting expectations and another 10 approaching. The school had 40 percent of its eighth graders not make the appropriately needed score. Badger Academy did not have enough seventh or sixth graders tested for the state to publish information on scores.
At Lisa Academy North, the eight graders had a math mean score of 715, with 8 percent of the students meeting expectations, 32 percent approaching and the same number, 32 percent, not meeting expectations. In literacy, the mean score was 749, the best in the area. Eight percent of the students exceeded expectations, 36 percent met expectations, 40 percent were approaching goals, and 6 percent failed to met expectations.
Seventh graders, in math, had a mean score of 718, with 9 percent meeting expectations, 19 percent approaching and 9 percent failing to meet any expectations. In literacy, the mean score was 752, with 18 percent exceeding goals, 38 percent meeting them, 22 percent approaching the mandated goals and 10 percent not meeting expectations.
Sixth graders had a mean math score of 729, with 1 percent exceeding goals, 18 percent meeting them, 39 percent in the approaching category and 9 percent failing to make the cut. In literacy, the mean score was 745, with 6 percent exceeding expectations, 39 percent meeting goals, 34 percent approaching them and 8 percent failing to achieve them.
Eighth graders at Carlisle had a mean math score of 713, with 11 percent meeting expectations and another 21 percent approaching goals. More than 30 percent did not meet expectations. In literacy, the mean score was 715, with no students exceeding expectations, 9 percent meeting them and 25 approaching expectations, while the same amount, 25 percent, failed to meet the goals.
Seventh graders had a mean score of 722 in math, with 12 percent meeting goals, 38 percent approaching and 23 percent failing to meet expectations. In literacy, the mean score was 731, with 4 percent exceeding expectations, 23 meeting them, 35 percent approaching and 23 percent not meeting expectations.
Sixth graders had a mean math score of 736, with 37 percent meeting expectations, 33 percent approaching them and just 2 percent not making the cut.
Eighth graders at England High School had a mean score of 709 in math, with 16 percent of the students meeting expectations and another 13 percent approaching, but 40 percent were listed as not meeting expectations in any manner. In literacy, the mean score was 707, with 1 percent exceeding expectations, another 10 percent meeting them and 20 percent approaching expectations, but 48 percent did not meet expectations.
Seventh graders had a 712 mean math score, and 3 percent met expectations, 28 percent were in the approaching category and another 28 percent did not meet expectations. In literacy, the mean score was 706, with 5 percent of the students meeting the state-mandated goals, 31 percent approaching and 41 percent failing to meet expectations.
Posted by THE LEADER at 10:23 AM
By JOHN HOFHEIMER
Leader senior staff writer
The decades-old highway-funding conundrum could be solved in the short term if a special session of the General Assembly passes the plan Gov. Asa Hutchinson proposed Tuesday afternoon to benefit road programs here.
The governor announced a plan to fund state highways to the tune of about $48 million a year over the next five years without raising taxes, but some fear, at the expense of the needy.
The state Highway and Transportation Department Director Scott Bennett says the department needs at least $46.1 million a year to provide matching funds to unlock about $200 million a year in federal highway funds.
“In addition to a state investment of more than three-quarters of a billion dollars over 10 years, this new program allows us to access billions of dollars in federal highway money—without raising taxes,” the governor said.
MAY AVERT CRISIS
While some aspects of the new highway revenue plan require approval by the General Assembly, and no group is completely happy, Hutchinson, in conjunction with the highway working group he appointed and some legislators, may have solved the highway funding crisis that has threatened the state and its economy without answer for at least a decade.
The governor announced several moves to fund the highways short term.
For 2017, he would transfer $20 million from unobligated surplus and another $20 million from the governor’s rainy day fund.
He would begin the phased transfer of revenue on new and used car sales from the state general fund to the state highway funds with $1.5 million.
Beginning the second year of the plan, $4 million of diesel tax revenue will move from general revenue to highways, accounting for $2.7 million a year.
He would also eliminate the state Central Services Deduction from the temporary half-cent sales tax, adding another $5.4 million to roads.
That’s a total of $46.9 million in new highway funds for 2017.
In subsequent years, through 2021, the plan calls for no further transfer of unobligated surplus or from the governor’s rainy day fund, but revenue on new and used vehicle sales would be phased in until hitting $25 million a year.
In future years, dedicating 25 percent of surplus General Improvement Funds to the Highway Department could average $48 million a year through 2021, with highway funds growing as high as $81 million a year.
Jacksonville Mayor Gary Fletcher said he’d not had time to review the governor’s just-announced plan, but said his concern that the state road revenue split — 70 percent to the state and 15 percent each divided by the counties and the cities—would be changed to the detriment of the cities and counties has been satisfied.
“We have infrastructure needs like everybody else,” the mayor said. “The highways and roads are falling apart faster than we can repair them.”
“We are in support of the governor’s plan on highway funding,” said Chris Vil-lines, executive director of the Association of Arkansas Counties. “Counties will not suffer immediate detrimental adjustments to critical funding for local roadways. However, we want to continue the conversation about county road needs. Counties do have significant needs in road funding, especially when it comes to county bridges.”
ADVOCATES SLIGHTLY RELIEVED
“The proposal is better than we anticipated,” said Rich Huddleston, executive director of Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. “There’s not as much impact on state revenue,” he added.
But he said important programs such as pre-kindergarten, child welfare, juvenile justice and after-school programs could be hurt.
“We already have unmet needs in all those programs. People are losing sight of the fact we passed big tax cuts in 2013 and 2014 that currently throw off a $242 million general revenue stream. That’s before losing $5.4 million a year from central services to help fund highways,” he explained.
The programs Huddleston is concerned about are funded through central services in the state’s general revenues.
Posted by THE LEADER at 10:14 AM