Prichard says Kentucky schools improving too slowly
Final "transition index" results
show 100 score out of reach for most
This from the Prichard Committee (press release):
Most Kentucky schools improved student performance in recent years, but the pace of improvement was not quick enough, according to 2011 "Transition Index" results released today by the Council for Better Education, the Kentucky Association of School Councils, and the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.
If schools continued to improve at the same pace they set from 2007 to 2011, only 43 percent of schools would reach a score of 100 by 2014, equivalent to the average student having met proficiency standards on the Kentucky Core Content Tests. High schools were much further from that goal, with only 3 percent (a total of 7 schools) at 100 or on track to get there.
The Transition Index is calculated with a formula similar to the one used in past years by the Kentucky Department of Education to gauge school progress. 2009's Senate Bill 1 ended the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System and required a new system of standards and assessments to be in place by the 2011-12 school year. That new "Unbridled Learning" system is now in place, so the 2011 Transition Index is the group's final report on progress under the old approach.
Compared to 2010 results, the 2011 calculations for the state as a whole show that the strongest improvements over the last year came in elementary social studies, middle school social studies and science, and high school writing, reading, and mathematics. Elementary reading declined slightly, and elementary math, science, and writing results were essentially flat.
Ronda Harmon, executive director of the school councils group, explained that the report fulfills a promise from the three partner organizations "to help parents, educators, and citizens see the big picture on student results and maintain local accountability during the state's transition to new standards." She and the other leaders say they are glad to have been able to provide the information, but concerned that the trends do not show strong enough improvement rates.
"Remember that, for the future, our state has made a commitment to higher standards," said Fayette County Superintendent Tom Shelton, president of the Council for Better Education. "If last year's improvement was too slow to reach our old standards, we clearly need to do much more to meet the new college-and-career-ready standards that we are now aiming to meet."
Stu Silberman, executive director of the Prichard Committee, agreed. "For the coming years, we've raised the bar substantially. While there is some good news in this final year of Transition Index results, the overall trends show that we need do more for Kentucky's children, and do it more quickly. All of us will need to bring a new level of collaboration and effort to ensure that all students meet the demanding new standards that will prepare them for the future."
Results for each school and district, as well as the state as a whole, are available at www.kasc.net. An additional report on achievement gap trends will be released by the same groups in early October.