That's from the Herald-Leader report here, with my emphasis added.
Robert King, president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, said that the state's educational bureaucracy is trying to figure out how to align high school curricula so that students will arrive at college better prepared. The step is one of several educational changes required under legislation passed by the General Assembly this year.
As things stand now, King said, Kentucky students can do everything that's asked of them in K-12 and not be competitive in college. The goal, he said, is for colleges to communicate what they expect incoming students to know, and for Kentucky's elementary and secondary education system to teach it.
President King is right to say many students are not ready for college-level work.
He is wrong to imply that most of of those students have been meeting KBE's standards for P-12 work by doing proficient or distinguished work.
Here's a comparison of the percent of students meeting CPE's standards for ACT scores and KBE's standards for CATS results, using the most recent results now available.
- 38 percent of 2009 11th graders met the CPE standard in reading.
- 38 percent of 2008 11th graders met the KBE standard in social studies, the subject ACT uses to benchmark reading skills.*
- 34 percent of 2009 11th graders met the CPE standard in mathematics
- 39 percent of 2008 11th graders met the KBE standard in mathematics.
- 46 percent of 2009 11th graders met the CPE standard in English.
- 30 percent of 2008 12th graders met the KBE standard in on-demand writing.
Kentucky has have a deep problem with weak student performance. Let's not compound it with high-profile misunderstandings of our student performance data.
* 60 percent of 2008 10th graders met KBE's standard in reading. I didn't use that for the main comparison for two reasons. First, I think it's a mistake to look for reading-divorced-from-content-area in the upper grades. Second, I'm following ACT's lead in looking for best evidence of readiness to succeed in a social science class.