Sunday, October 5, 2014

Kentucky's Jump In Scores: Where Did It Come From?

In Kentucky's accountability system, an overall score combines many kinds of data.  Program reviews are the newest elements, with several kinds of test scores and graduation rates having been considered since 2012.  So when we note that, statewide, scores moved up at the elementary, middle, and high school levels –and moved by more than four points at each level–it makes sense to how much each element contributed.

For example, the statewide elementary overall score grew from 64.2 to 68.7, and the graph below breaks that growth down into parts:

Similarly, the middle school overall score rose from 62.0 to 66.0, with these contributions from different elements:

And high school improvement from 66.8 to 71.3 included this combination of elements.

If you want to think through the arithmetic (not everyone does), the Kentucky Board of Education has set rules on how much each component should count toward the overall score. If you remember a teacher saying "the final exam will be 25% of your grade for the course," you've heard this kind of math before.

For example, the high school formula says that program reviews are worth 23%, and each of the other elements is worth 15.4%.  In the chart above, the 2014 bar shows 23.0 points because statewide, the high school program review score was a perfect 100, and 100 times 23% yields 23 points.  The other elements are smaller because those scores were less perfect, though you can see that achievement, gap group, readiness, and graduation all improved.

More broadly, you can see that program reviews contributed importantly to the growth from 2013 to 2014, contributing 2.1 points for high schools, 3.3 points for middle schools, and 3.2 points at the elementary school level.

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Updates and data on Kentucky education!