Nearly 880 public schools in Arkansas are classified as needing improvement because they didn't meet their achievement goals on state exams.
The annual accountability report by the state's education department was released Tuesday. The number of schools categorized as needing improvement this year is an increase of 84 schools from last year's total. The state doesn't penalize schools labeled as needing improvement.
Out of the state's more than 1,000 public schools, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that 67 of them are categorized as "achieving" schools. Last year, that total was 137.
The report says 85 schools will stay classified as "focus-needs improvement" schools, because of the achievement gap between their students.
Almost 40 schools will remain as "priority-needs improvement." They were among the lowest 5 percent of schools in terms of achievement in 2011.