Friday, November 2, 2012

The work begins anew

Kentucky has moved more quickly than any state in the country to define and assess student results that meet the demands of a knowledge-driven future.  This morning, in our newly released School Report Card, we meet the first data, and we see with new clarity what we will need to do to move all our children to those higher expectations.

The chart above shows where we stand in most succinct form, using the overall scores from  our new accountability system.  In that system, a score of 100 meaning that all students (including those in historically underserved groups) are on track to graduate from high school ready for college and career.  By that measure, we're a little more than half way there.

The elementary score combines three kinds of student results shown below.  The achievement number reflects results for all students in reading, mathematics, science, social studies, writing, and language mechanics.  The gap score indicates similar data for students in groups that are often "caught in the achievement gap," while the growth score based on the percent of students making expected growth from one year to the next in reading and mathematics.
The middle school score uses those three kinds of data and adds a college and career readiness indicator based on the Explore test taken by eighth graders.  Here's how those results break out this year.
The high school score reflects college and career readiness measured by ACT and other assessments, and adds in graduation data. Here's how those stack up.

The bottom line is that, this  morning, we can clearly define the work ahead of us. Kentucky has committed itself to raise all of these results to the high levels our children will need for full success in the economy and in their communities.  As you can see, that will be a mighty undertaking, and all of us--parents, teachers, citizens, elected leaders--will have major roles to play.

These results and further details--for our state, districts, and individual schools--is now easily accessible at the Department of Education's Open House.  


  1. i have a question about school score. Parents have been told not to compare these test scores to those from last year as the test was different and yet I am hearing schools are not starting from scratch. Is it true, that a component of the overall school score is from the growth of progress from last year? And if so, is it true that a high performing school from last year could have received a lower score as a result of not as much growth as a lower performing school from last year that made more progress?

    There is indeed a 2012 growth score for each school, but the way I understand it, a school with high 2011 results still has room to succeed on that element.

    The new growth score is based on the percent of students making typical growth from year to year.

    Typical is being defined by looking at students in groups based on 2011 scores.

    Students who had 2012 scores above 40% of the students who matched them in 2011 are reported as making typical or higher growth.

    Because the 2012 comparison is only to students who started at the same place in 2011, the model works just as well for schools that had high 2011 results and schools that had low 2011 results.

    Or, to say it another way, if a school has a low growth score, that means its students performed weakly compared to students who were very like them just one year ago.


Updates and data on Kentucky education!