The Kentucky Department of Education has released its assessment data from student exams taken near the end of the 2018-19 school year.
The data stems from an accountability model rooted in the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and Kentucky’s Senate Bill I. Even though that piece of legislation was enacted in 2017, accountability methods have changed in the two years since to further align with Senate Bill I. This year’s version is meant to be a more permanent accountability and scoring system.
Senate Bill I ensures that schools are not compared against each other. They are given individual “star ratings.” The accountability system incorporates more than test scores. The indicators include Proficiency, Separate Academic Indicator, Growth, Transition Readiness and Graduation Rate.
At the elementary and middle school level, Proficiency measures performance on a reading and mathematics assessment. Separate Academic Indicator measures performance on a science, social studies and writing assessment. Growth is based on a comparison of student scores from the 2017-18 school year to the 2018-19 school year in reading and math. All of these indicators determine how many stars a school receives.
High school performance is based upon Proficiency (same as elementary and middle schools), Separate Academic Indicator (a science and writing assessment), Graduation Rate (defined as the percentage of students who graduate from high school in four or five years) and Transition Readiness.
Transition Readiness includes students earning a high school diploma and meeting expectations for either academic or career readiness. Academic readiness is defined as meeting benchmark scores on a college admissions exam or a college placement exam. Career readiness is met if students earn an industry certificate approved by the Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board and/or other indicators that can be found on the link to this media release on the Hardin County Schools website. Other indicators of Academic Readiness and Career Readiness can be found when readers CLICK HERE.
Star ratings may be changed if a school has a significant achievement gap. Achievement gap means the difference between how well one student group compares to another student group. These comparisons can include economically disadvantaged as compared to non-economically disadvantaged, students with disabilities as compared to students without disabilities and English learners as compared to non-English learners.
Schools are identified as Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) schools, Targeted Support and Improvement Schools (TSI) or Additional Targeted Support and Improvement. Last school year, Radcliff Elementary was determined to be a CSI school, and there were 13 TSI schools. This year, there are no CSI or TSI schools in the district.
Lincoln Trail Elementary received four stars as determined by the new system. The following 13 schools received three stars:
- Cecilia Valley Elementary
- GC Burkhead Elementary
- Heartland Elementary
- Lakewood Elementary
- New Highland Elementary
- Rineyville Elementary
- Vine Grove Elementary
- East Hardin Middle
- James T. Alton Middle
- West Hardin Middle
- Central Hardin High School
- John Hardin High School
- North Hardin High School
The other schools in the district received two stars with the exception of Meadow View Elementary and Woodland Elementary. They received one star.
“We know that there is room for improvement,” HCS Chief Academic Officer Greg Sutton said. “Our focus is on individual student growth each day. We continually evaluate the strategies and instructional processes that make each student better. That work exemplifies itself in professional learning communities, meetings with instructional coaches and the accumulation of data that we analyze through daily classwork, formative assessments, unit exams, and MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) testing.”
“I’m proud of our students and staff for the work they do each day,” HCS Superintendent Teresa Morgan said. “We have made strong gains. Radcliff Elementary has come out of its CSI status and no other schools fell into CSI. HCS went from 14 TSI schools down to zero. The growth model changed with this year’s assessment data so we have noticed that we have some work to do there. I’m pleased with our focus to meet the needs of each individual student and the goals we have in place. Our teachers are working harder than ever and this shows with our growth in MAP and the number of transition ready students.”
“We continue to make gains with our students with disabilities as well as other gap groups. Again, we recognize that we have more to do, and we will continue to find even more innovative ways to support all students.”
“Our growth is strong in writing,” Sutton noted. “Two years ago, we had some ground to make up in that area. Today, our students are scoring well above the state average.”
“We recognize that nearly 50-percent of our incoming kindergartners are not considered kindergarten ready,” Morgan added. “Our goal is to significantly reduce this gap and have them on grade level by the end of the third grade.”