Geographic Academic Policy Series - GAPS
The National Office for Research, Measurement and Evaluation Systems (NORMES) is pleased to introduce the new Geographical Academic Policy Series (GAPS): Analyzing the Educational Achievement Gaps in Arkansas. The goal of GAPS is to provide educational analysis through geographical representations.
In the last few years, NORMES has been asked to provide information on numerous education related policy issues. Our immediate reaction was to organize and develop formal academic studies. However, we have also learned that in most cases what is being requested was not a comprehensive research study, but an overview of data addressing the question being asked.
The goal of GAPS is to provide a quick snapshot using geographical information and colors to represent the results for the analyses. This process began by obtaining the latitudinal and longitudinal information for the geographical boundaries of school districts. Next, we analyzed district wide performance data from the Arkansas Benchmark and End-of-Course exams for literacy and mathematics, based on some of the most frequently asked questions about educational policy. Finally, for each map, we provide a narrative of the methodology and a brief interpretation from our perspective.
We invite you to submit suggestions for analyses or issues you would like to see presented in this format. Suggestions may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sean W. Mulvenon, Ph.D.
Professor of Educational Statistics, University of Arkansas
Director, National Office for Research, Measurement and Evaluation Systems