Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education 2021-2022 Public School Accountability Timeline and Draft Business Rules for Calculating the 2022 ESSA School Index

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Public School Accountability
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Federal Programs; Superintendents; Assistant Superintendent; Principals; Test Coordinators; General Business Managers; Curriculum Coordinators; School Counselors; Equity Coordinators (Disability/Race/Gender/National Origin); Data Stewards (SIS; eSchool; eFinance; TRIAND); District Coordinators (ALE; Homeless; ESOL; SDFS & Foster)

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Memo Text


2021-2022 Public School Accountability Planning Timeline

 This timeline should guide district/schools planning for the 2021-2022 school year.  The following timeline is formatted to indicate the role of districts/schools, the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), and the Office of Innovation for Education (OIE) in data collection, usage, and accountability.  Please note that the DESE reserves the right to change dates as necessary.  Following is the link for the timeline: 2021-2022 Public School Accountability Timeline 


 2021-2022 Draft Business Rules for Calculating the ESSA School Index Scores

A document containing the 2021-2022 Draft Business Rules for Calculating the ESSA School Index Scores is attached to this memo. School personnel are encouraged to review the draft rules and submit any recommendations for clarifications to Louis Ferren at by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, July 26, 2021. 

Questions and/or clarifications for the 2021-2022 Draft Business Rules for Calculating the ESSA School Index Scores must be submitted by this deadline.

Some of the information in the 2021-2022 Draft Business Rules is different from the information contained in the 2020-2021 Final Business Rules for Calculating the ESSA School Index Scores. Differences to look for in the current document include the following:

  1. New download dates for determining student demographics and schools’ students that are included in percent tested, achievement and growth are noted on pages 5, 6, 7, 9, 12, and 13.
  2. Recently Arrived English Learner (RAEL) enrollment dates to exclude from achievement and growth were updated on page 5.
  3. ELPA21 download date was noted on page 16.
  4. Updated graduation rate dates on pages 19-25.
  5. Changed comments about science growth history, grade levels, and COVID-19 on pages 25 and 29.
  6. Added the following comment on page 26: “Students who graduate early will be included along with the students in grade 12 Cycle 7”. 
  7. Updated data pull dates on pages 27-29.
  8. Added the following comment on pages 21, 25 and 40: “If a school has fewer than 15 expected graduates in the 4-year cohort graduation rate for the All Students group using three-year weighted average, their index will be calculated using 35% weighted achievement, 50% growth and 15% SQSS. If three-year weighted average has at least 15 expected in the 4-year cohort graduation rate, but the school has not been in existence long enough to have a 5-year cohort graduation rate, the 4-year graduation rate will have a weight of 15%”.
  9. Updated Advanced Placement Courses on pages 41 and 42.
  10. Updated International Baccalaureate Courses on page 42.
  11. Updated Concurrent Credit Courses on page 43.
  12. Updated Computer Science Courses on page 51 and 52.
  13. Updated Assessment Correction Engine (ACE) text on page 53.

The ESSA School Index is a calculation comprising multiple indicators: weighted achievement, growth, graduation rate, English Learner progress in English Language Proficiency, and School Quality/Student Success indicators for each grade span. Assigning schools to grade spans K-5, 6-8, and 9-12 accommodates differences in the grade levels served as well as ensuring comparability across schools. The weight of some required indicators and some of the School Quality/Student Success indicators included in the ESSA School Index vary by grade span.

Informational documents explaining the ESSA School Index and components are posted on the Arkansas Department of Education website at


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