Friday, February 01, 2008

EXPLORE and PLAN Results Released

(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – Kentucky’s 8th- and 10th-grade public school students participated in a statewide administration of the EXPLORE and PLAN assessments last fall, and overall school scores are mid-range or higher.

Unlike most other states, Kentucky tests all of its 8th- and 10th-grade public school students. As is often the case with ACT examinations, when the pool of test-takers is large, overall scores tend to be lower.

In fall 2007, 48,450 8th-grade Kentucky students in 320 public schools took the EXPLORE assessment. The scoring scale for the assessment is from 1 to 25.

In fall 2007, 50,097 10th-grade Kentucky students in 230 public schools took the PLAN assessment. The scoring scale for the assessment is from 1 to 32.

*National normative data are based on students who took all four academic tests within standard time limits as part of a national study conducted in Fall 2005.

Administration of the EXPLORE and PLAN assessments, which are provided by ACT, Inc., was mandated by Senate Bill 130 in the 2006 session of the Kentucky General Assembly. The two assessments and the ACT, which will be administered statewide for the first time in March, will help schools focus on meeting academic standards across the entire secondary school program. Scores from the assessments will be helpful in measuring student achievement, gauging their readiness for transition and evaluating school programs.

As part of the ACT Index, PLAN scores factored into accountability results for schools and districts for the 2006-07 school year; the inclusion of EXPLORE scores in accountability will be reviewed by the Kentucky Board of Education at its meeting February 6 and 7. Beginning with the 2007-08 school year, scores from both PLAN and the ACT will be included in the ACT Index.

The EXPLORE program is a high school readiness examination designed to help 8th graders explore a broad range of options for their future. The exam assesses four subjects (English, mathematics, reading and science) and provides needs assessments and other components to help students plan for high school and beyond.

The PLAN program helps 10th graders build a solid foundation for future academic and career success and provides information needed to address school districts' high-priority issues. The exam assesses four subjects (English, mathematics, reading and science) and is a predictor of success on the ACT.

Both assessments help schools pinpoint areas of weakness for individual students and schoolwide curriculum and make changes to improve learning. Schools will analyze their individual results to inform decision-making.

State law (KRS 158.6459) mandates that the Individual Learning Plans of students whose scores on EXPLORE and PLAN indicate that they need additional assistance in particular subject areas will incorporate strategies to help them improve their performance.

See complete details on district and school EXPLORE and PLAN data by visiting the Kentucky Department of Education's Web site at and clicking on the Testing and Reporting link.

SOURCE: KDE press release

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