Monday, December 10, 2012

Delivery targets narrow the gaps

As part of Kentucky's new accountability system, delivery targets ask each school to move halfway from current results to 100 within five years. Each school has targets for a set of indicators, including proficiency in each K-Prep subject for each student group, readiness of middle and high school students, and graduation rates.

The formula has a built-in way of tackling achievement gaps: the further a group is from 100, the more it has to improve to meet that half-way, five-year target.

For example, at the elementary level, 2012 mathematics result show 40.4 percent proficient or above for all students and 19.9 percent for students with disabilities.  That's an aching gap of 20.5 points!

Delivery targets don't ask for that gap to disappear by 2017, but they do call for it to be much smaller, aiming for 70.2 percent of all elementary students and 60.0 percent of students with disabilities to be proficient or above.  That will leave a gap of 10.2 points, still bad but an important step better than our current situation.

Below, I've graphed are the full subject-by-subject, year-by-year targets for elementary students with disabilities.  You can see the weakest subjects will need the quickest improvement, and if you compare to yesterday's graph of all students, you can also see how this approach means that schools will need to provide quicker improvement for this group than for all students in each subject.

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