Standard & Poor's School Evaluation Services recently announced the availability of diagnostic reports for Kentucky school districts. The reports, which are available at SchoolMatters.com, provide a summary and analysis of a school district's academic and financial performance in demographic context, known as Return on Resources®, and are designed to help Kentucky educators and administrators better understand the complex relationship between achievement, spending and demographics.
Thomas Sheridan, vice president of Standard & Poor's School Evaluation Services, said the reports are designed as a benchmarking and decision making tool.
Standard and Poor's previously (August 2005) recognized 11 Kentucky School Districts for Closing Achievement Gaps. The school districts in Kentucky identified by Standard & Poor's are: Allen County, Barren County, Estill County, Fleming County, Hancock County, Magoffin County, Mercer County, Owen County, Russell County, Simpson County and Warren County.
In July 2005, 18 Kentucky School Districts were named Academic Outperformers by Standard & Poor's. Kentucky's outperforming districts are: Bowling Green Independent, Daviess County, Fort Thomas Independent, Graves County, Hancock County, Johnson Country, Marion Country, Mason County, Mclean County, Murray Independent, Oldham County, Owensboro Independent, Paducah Independent, Russell County, Walton Verona Independent, Warren County, Williamsburg Independent and Wolfe County.
In June 2005, student performance, financial, school safety and other data were added to SchoolMatters.com. This new information supplements the site's existing academic, financial, school environment and community demographic data for the state. The Kentucky Department of Education provided the data to Standard & Poor's.
The 2003-04 Kentucky-specific data sets that have been added to SchoolMatters.com include:
proficiency rates on state-administered fourth-, seventh- and twelfth-grade on demand writing and writing portfolio assessments;
proficiency rates on state administered fifth-, eighth- and eleventh-grade social studies and arts and humanities assessments;
proficiency rates on state-administered fourth-, seventh- and eleventh-grade science assessments; and
proficiency rates on state-administered fifth-, eighth- and tenth-grade practical living assessments.
The 2001-02, 2002-03 and 2003-04 data sets include:
financial figures, such as spending per student; school safety and disciplinary information; and teacher profile information.