Beating the Odds - High Math Growth

Beating the Odds in Math 2021

OEP pic

Dear Principal Coogan and Superintendent Smith,

Congratulations! Mena Middle has been recognized by the Office for Education Policy (OEP) at the University of Arkansas as a school that is Beating the Odds, because students demonstrated high growth on the ACT Aspire even though the school serves a high percentage of students who participate in Free and Reduced Lunch! As you may know, the OEP creates an annual report entitled the Outstanding Educational Performance Awards, recognizing schools with high student growth. We think growth is the best indicator of the positive impact that your school is having on students. 

In our Beating the Odds report to be released tomorrow, Mena Middle received the following "Beating the Odds" award:

High Math Growth: Middle Level (Southwest Region)

We provide badges for placement on your school’s website (attached), and personalized paper awards will be sent to the district later this school year.

Awards are based on the 2021 content growth score calculated by the Arkansas Department of Education. These growth scores reflect how much students at the school improved from 2019 compared to how much they were expected to grow considering prior achievement. We recognize schools based on Overall growth, as well as for growth in Math and English Language Arts separately. To learn more about how we determined the OEP award winners and to see the full list of award recipients, you can view the report here

We congratulate you on this accomplishment and hope that you will share this good news with teachers, students, and others who contributed to your school’s success. 

This year’s full list of OEP awards can be found here

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Congratulations again on “Beating the Odds”!


Sarah McKenzie, Ph.D., Executive Director

Office for Education Policy

213 Graduate Education Building

Fayetteville, AR 72701