Here's the full text of the Prichard Committee statement released today:
The ACT results released today by Kentucky Department of Education show positive trends for the 2015 graduating class overall, but raise concerns about whether African American, Hispanic, and American Indian students are receiving the full support they need and deserve.
The good news is that members of the 2015 class as a whole looked stronger than their 2014 peers. In English, mathematics and reading, more of them met Kentucky’s benchmarks for college readiness. Progress in mathematics was especially strong, with an increase of more than 4% in students who are ready for credit-bearing college work.
For some student groups, however, the results were clearly not strong enough. Students from different racial backgrounds still have quite different results. Looking at ACT composite scores, 2015 African American graduates did no better than their 2014 peers, and Hispanic graduates did slightly worse. American Indian students improved just slightly faster than white students and not at a pace to close the big gap between the two groups. All three groups have results showing them less ready for college success than their white and Asian classmates.
The Kentucky Board of Education has already added important new efforts to reduce novice performance in all subgroups, signaling that it is time for deeper, more sustained work to end these gaps. To support renewed and expanding work on increasing achievement and closing gaps, a Prichard Committee study group will be working through the fall to analyze data, policy and practice, with the aim to share recommendations at the beginning of 2016.
For Kentucky to flourish, we need for Kentucky students of every background to reach their potential and join in building a strong, shared future. While progress is evident overall, important student subgroups still lag behind, demonstrating the need for more concerted efforts to close these gaps rapidly. Our goal must be for all Kentucky students to graduate from high school truly ready for adult success.