Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Kentucky low-income college participation (Ouch!)

Only 20% of Kentucky students from low-income families made it to college in 2006-07. 36 of the 50 states did better than that, and the comparable national rate was 24%.

That unhappy news comes from the February 2009 issue of the Postsecondary Education Opportunity newsletter from the Mortenson Seminar on Postsecondary Education. The report compares each state's number of 2006-07 Pell grant recipients to its number of 1997-98 free-and-reduced-price lunch students in grades four through nine.


  1. Susan,

    I want to thank you. The posts in this blog are starting to help me to make a very important point.

    When you only look at overall average scores for a large group of students, you miss a whole lot of education problems that can’t be seen until you disaggregate the data.

    This latest post is a good example. As your post shows, when you look only at a performance indicator for Kentucky’s poor kids, the numbers don’t look good at all. In this case, that indicator is an estimate of the percentage of poor students who make it to college, and I agree the number is too low.

    For more on this, including more examples from the Prichard Blog, check out “Look Deep to Analyze KERA” here (http://bluegrasspolicy-blog.blogspot.com/2009/03/look-deep-to-analyze-kera.html).

  2. We have had disaggregated data from the KCCT since at least 2000. In 2000, it was the use of Susan Weston's detailed disaggregated data graphs by the Prichard Committee's CIPL that sparked me to become an education advocate. Since then I have personally mentored many students who receive a free/reduced price lunch who are going to college. The problem is not KERA. The problem is providing direct advocacy, supports and services for academic achievement.

    While NCLB put more teeth into every school reporting all disaggregated data from the KCCT, the data has been there all along in full view of anyone who wanted to look at it. The problem is that only a few of us have wanted to really look at it with the purpose of improving student achievement in our public schools. Thank you Susan for always leading the way to making the disaggregated data a point of discussion out in the public view.


Updates and data on Kentucky education!