Last week, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) released the 2017-18 student assessment results. Kentucky continues to transition to a new accountability system; consequently, many of the accountability measures have changed or have been revised. This year, elementary schools and middle schools were measured by their performance on three indicators; proficiency, separate academic, and growth. The proficiency indicator measures student performance on K-Prep reading and math assessments. The separate academic indicator measures student performance on K-Prep science, social studies, and writing on-demand assessments. The growth indicator measures students’ current year progress toward proficiency in reading and math and takes into account the projected likelihood that the students will achieve proficiency within the next two years.
High schools were also measured on three indicators: proficiency, transition readiness, and graduation rate. The proficiency indicator measures student performance in reading and math on the grade 11 state administration of the ACT college entrance exam. The transition readiness indicator measures the percentage of graduates who earned a high school diploma and met the requirements for one type of readiness (Academic or Career). The graduation rate measures the percentage of students who earned a high school diploma as compared to a cohort of students beginning in grade 9. The graduation rate is reported for all students based on the student’s final enrollment.
As a result of the new accountability measures, the manner in which the state reports school results has also changed. Under the new system, districts will not receive an accountability determination; rather, accountability determinations will only be made at the school level. In addition, schools will not receive an overall score, and schools will not be ranked. Based on the grade-level appropriate measures, schools were identified as one of the following:
- “Other” is the highest designation that a school can receive in the new accountability system
- Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) schools had one or more student sub-groups that were low performing. To be clear, a school’s designation as TSI does not mean the school is failing or a low-performing school. It does mean that work remains to be done with raising the achievement levels for certain sub-groups of students. Thirty-three percent of the schools across the state were identified as TSI.
- Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) – Schools identified as CSI were in the bottom 5% of Title I and non-Title I schools (by level). CSI I schools as a whole scored below the cut score on all three level specific measures. CSI II schools were schools that had a graduation rate of less than 80%.
Jackson County Public Schools has three schools who were designated as “Other”; being the highest designation that a school can receive in the new accountability system. They are the Jackson County High School, McKee Elementary School and Tyner Elementary School. Two schools were identified for Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI); Jackson County Middle School and Sand Gap Elementary School. Both the Jackson County Middle School and Sand Gap Elementary School only had one low-performing sub-group. Jackson County Public Schools did not have any school designated as Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI).
Due to changes in the measures and the way scores are calculated, it is difficult to compare this year’s school scores to last year’s scores. However, a comparison can be made to the percent of JCPS students who are proficient/distinguished in specific areas. At the elementary school level, the percent of students who are proficient/distinguished in reading increased from 54.3% to 60.4%, and the percent of students who are proficient/distinguished in math increased from 48% to 53.2%. At the middle school level, the percent of students who are proficient/distinguished in reading increased from 49.6% to 50.8%, and the percent of students who are proficient/distinguished in writing increased from 26.9% to 27.2%. At the high school level, the percent of students who are proficient/distinguished in writing increased from 55.3% to 60%, and the percent of students who graduated transition ready increased from 75.8% to 86.6%. Parents will receive an individual student report.