(Frankfort, KY) -- At its Aug. 7 meeting in Frankfort, the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) discussed the development and implementation of Kentucky’s new 5-star school rating system, which will go live in September after the 2018-2019 K-PREP test scores are released.

Associate Commissioner Rhonda Sims and Division Director Jennifer Stafford of the Office of Standards, Assessment and Accountability provided an update on the system. Using data from the 2018-2019 school year, Kentucky’s accountability system will provide an overall rating for each school, district and the state ranging from 1 (the lowest) to 5 (the highest) stars. The star rating, along with other important education data, will be available on the new Kentucky School Report Card.

Elementary and middle schools will receive star ratings based on student assessments in reading, mathematics, science, social studies and writing; and student growth in reading and mathematics. High schools will be rated based on student assessments in reading, mathematics, science and writing; transition (academic or career) readiness; and graduation rate. Elementary and middle school accountability will contain a measure of growth on (and high schools for attainment of) English language proficiency for English learners on an exam that includes speaking, listening, reading and writing in English.

The 5-star accountability system is designed to focus attention on the need to close achievement gaps. A school or district that would have been a 5- or 4-star will be reduced by 1 star if it has significant achievement gaps between the performances of groups of students.

“If a school has very high scores, for example, but also has a group of low income students who aren’t seeing that same academic success as their peers, the school’s 5-star rating would be lowered to a 4-star,” Sims said.

In other business, the KBE unanimously approved applications from Owensboro Independent and Owsley County school districts to continue as Districts of Innovation.

Both districts were first approved as Districts of Innovation for five years beginning in the 2014-2015 school year. As permitted by 701 KAR 5:140, both districts submitted a renewal application in May requesting to continue their innovation status for up to five additional years.

The board also approved the following:

  • Re-election of Hal Heiner and Milton Seymore as chair and vice-chair to a 1-year term
  • Amendment to 703 KAR 5:240, Accountability Administrative Procedures and Guidelines (Second Reading)
  • Quality of School Climate and Safety Measures
  • Amendment to 703 KAR 5:280, School Improvement Procedures (Second Reading)
  • Adoption of Kentucky School for the Blind and Kentucky School for the Deaf General Policies
  • Annual Updates to Kentucky Tech Policies & Procedures
  • New District Facility Plans
  • District Facility Plan Amendments
  • 2018-2019 Local District Tax Rates Levied
  • KETS K-12 Operational Technology Needs for School Year 2019-2020
  • KETS Operational Plan for School Year 2019-2020
  • Dates for the 2022 KBE meetings.

The next state board meeting will be held in October at the Laurel County Board of Education in London.

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