More than 200 schools need improvement

(August 21, 2003) - (Little Rock-AP) -- The 208 Arkansas public schools earmarked as needing improvement have about 30 days to appeal the designation. They are on a list the state Education Department compiled through a statewide review conducted in accordance with the federal No Child Left Behind law. The list includes 126 schools identified as School Improvement Schools and 82 listed on Alert Status for School Improvement. Janine Riggs, assistant director for school improvement and professional development, emphasized that the list is preliminary and schools have 30 days from the time they receive notice of their status to appeal the designations. Riggs says a final list will be posted after the appeal time and appropriate corrective action will be taken. Arkansas, like other states, is compiling the lists for the first time this year under the new federal law, which includes school choice for students at schools that don't improve.