LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A report released Friday shows Kentucky schools and students are increasing their performance, in turn creating higher graduation rates and more students that are prepared for college and careers in a trade, the military or the workforce, according to the state of Kentucky.
Click here to view a summaryof complete data sets on individual school and districts accountability scores by grade and by level.
Since the passage of Senate Bill 1 in 2009, Kentucky schools have been working on ensuring that every public school student graduates prepared for higher education or a career by using a combination of test scores, achievement gap levels, student progress, graduation rates and career- and college-readiness benchmarks.
Click here to view full PDF version of the report.
Jefferson County Public Schools did improve to the 33 percentile and Kentucky Education Commissioner, Terry Holliday, says he seen good progress being made here. Jefferson County has 18 of the 41 lowest performing high schools and middle schools, according to this year's report.
Kentucky Education Commissioner, Terry Holliday, said though the progress is “slower than we would like,” the data clearly proves that progress is being made.
“We are moving in the right direction toward the goal of providing a world-class education for every Kentucky student and ensuring all children graduate college/career-ready,” Holliday said.
After applying for and being granted flexibility under the federally mandated No Child Left Behind Act, the Kentucky Board of Education adopted an accountability model aiming at incorporating all aspects of school and district work to measure and map the direction school-districts are heading in relation to federal and state education levels.
The model, Unbridled Learning: College/Career-Readiness for All, took effect in the 2011-2012 school year and shows that Kentucky students are making progress in nearly every subject at every grade level.
In 2013, according to the report’s results, the college/career-readiness of graduating Kentucky students increased from 34 percent in 2010, to 54.1 percent, according to a Kentucky Department of Education report.
The number of distinguished middle schools, high schools and school districts in the state increased in 2013, according to the report. A total of 179 distinguished schools are in Kentucky and 25 school districts are distinguished.
A distinguished classification is given based on an overall score, which is a culmination of five components. They include achievement, gap, growth, college/career-readiness and graduation rate. Achievement scores are based on student performance on tests of reading, mathematics, science, social studies and writing.
The gap component of school’s overall score is a comparative performance percentage of students who are members of traditionally underperforming groups to the goal of 100 percent proficiency in all five academic content areas, according to a Kentucky Department of Education news release.
The distance, or gap, from 100 percent proficiency for all students is marked by a count of students who score proficient or higher and are a member of any group that have, historically, had lower scores. The number is a non-duplicate count, which means that students are only counted once and all students within the groups are added together to create the ‘gap group.’
The groups that attribute to gap groups include ethnic minorities, special education students, students living in poverty and students with limited English proficiency.
A growth component compares an individual student’s scores to his or her academic peers to create the Student Growth Percentile.
Focusing on reading and math, a Student Growth Percentile can award points to a school or district for the percentage of students that exhibit a typical or higher performance growth rate.
Holliday said growth rates this school year were minimal.
“It is a comparison of peers,” he said. “If most students are improving, growth will not change much,” he said.
The state’s newly adopted method of calculating graduation rates focuses on the number of students in a freshman class and, taking into account the students that move in to or out of the system, records how many students get their diploma four years later.
The rate only applies to districts that contain one or more high schools.
The cornerstone of the Unbridled Learning model is the component focusing on evaluating and scoring college/career-readiness.
The continually increasing percentage is attributed to increasing performance levels on state and national benchmark assessments, such as the CPE, ACT, ASVAB, KOSSA, KYOTE and COMPASS.
Students who continue to meet the statewide benchmarks of the Council on Post-secondary Education (CPE) are guaranteed entrance to a credit-bearing entry-level course in a particular subject at a state-run university without the need for remediation.
Jefferson County Public School's breakdown