Monday, April 18, 2011

SB 1 action: Accountability formula

Last Wednesday, the Kentucky Board of Education took a big step forward on the accountability element of Senate Bill 1, approving a formula for the "Next-Generations Learners component of Kentucky’s accountability system." That new formula uses scores from the new assessment system that start in 2012, with slight variations by level of school.

The elementary version combines:
  1. Overall achievement in reading, mathematics, science, social studies and writing
  2. Gap group achievement, combining results for students with disabilities, students from low-income households, African-American students, and Hispanic students
  3. Individual student growth, measured as the percent of students making typical or high growth in reading and in mathematics from one year to the next
The middle school versions combines:
  1. Overall achievement (like elementary)
  2. Gap group achievement (like elementary)
  3. Individual student growth (like elementary)
  4. College readiness defined as percent reaching Reading, English and Mathematics benchmark scores set by ACT, Inc., on the eighth grade Explore test
For high schools, the number combines:
  1. Overall achievement on end-of-course tests in key subjects
  2. Gap group achievement
  3. Individual student growth 
  4. College readiness defined as percent reaching ACT Reading, English and Mathematics benchmark scores set by Kentucky's Council on Postsecondary education or showing readiness on another approved measure
  5. Graduation rate
Under Kentucky rules for creating a new regulation, there are some further steps before this formula becomes final.  So, count this approach as very likely to be the system Kentucky will use next year, but not as fully settled just yet.

It's worth mentioning two more decisions that lie ahead.  The scores described above will be used to rate schools as distinguished, proficient, needs improvement, or persistently low performing, but the numbers that go with each level will not be decided until next year.  Similarly, the consequences that will go with those ratings are still under discussion.

Source note: The proposed regulation is 703 KAR 5:200, and you can download the full text approved by KBE here.

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