On October 1, the Kentucky Department of Education released the 2018-19 school accountability data. Kentucky has been transitioning to a new accountability system since February 2018. Kentucky’s accountability system has students at its center to ensure that all students are well-rounded, transition ready, and prepared with the knowledge, skills, and essential dispositions that they will need to be successful after they graduate from high school. The accountability system uses multiple academic and school quality measures. The current accountability system includes six indicators: Proficiency, Separate Academic Indicator, Growth, Graduation, Transition Readiness, and Quality of School Climate and Safety (beginning in 2019-20). The scores from these indicators are combined to provide each school with an overall accountability score. Beginning this year, each school and district will be assigned an Overall Rating of one to five stars (five being the highest score) based on the overall score of combined school level measures and indicators.
The 5 Star Rating for elementary and middle schools is based on three indicators: proficiency, separate academic, and growth. The proficiency indicator score is based on students’ performance on the reading and math tests. The separate academic indicator score is based on student performance on the science, social studies, and writing tests. The growth indicator score is based on a comparison of student scores from one year to the next in reading and mathematics. The growth indicator also includes the progress of English learners on the language proficiency exam.
The 5 Star rating for high schools is based on four indicators: proficiency, separate academic, graduation rate, and transition readiness. The proficiency indicator score is based on students’ performance on the reading and math tests. The separate academic indicator score is based on student performance on the science and writing tests. The graduation rate indicator score is based on the percentage of students who graduate from high school in 4 or 5 years. The transition readiness indicator score gives students the flexibility to demonstrate either academic or career readiness although a student may choose to pursue both readiness areas. In addition, students may demonstrate transition readiness in multiple ways.
The new accountability system also takes Achievement Gaps into account. Achievement Gap means the difference between how well one student group compares to another student group. If there is a significant gap, a 4 or 5 Star school/district will be decreased by one star.
McKee Elementary received a 5 Star Rating (Overall score 79.7). Jackson County High School (Overall Score 73.9) and Sand Gap Elementary (Overall Score 72.9) received a 4 Star Rating. Tyner Elementary received a 3 Star Rating (Overall Score 64.5), and Jackson County Middle School received a 2 Star Rating (53.7).
The schools celebrated the student’s accomplishments and treated them to inflatables and movies. JCHS Principal Brian Harris wrote: “JCHS received a 4 star ranking based on the state’s 2018-19 accountability system, which is awesome!!!! The school is ranked 38th out of the 226 high schools in Kentucky. In the 13th region, which has a total of 17 high schools, JCHS ranked 3rd. We are very proud of the hard work that our students and staff put forth to accomplish this achievement and we will continue to strive for improvement in all areas. Looking at the preliminary results, our transition readiness score may be in the top 10 of the state again. Based on this great news, on Wednesday, October 2nd, there will be a school-wide celebration that includes inflatables, movies and food. A special thank you goes out to all of “General Nation” and it is a great day to be a General!”
Principal Timmy Truett reported, “We cannot express our excitement about this accomplishment. To be named a 5-Star school is a distinction reserved for only 37 out of 725 elementary schools. We realize this is not only amazing but a true honor. Being ranked in the top 5% of the state elementary schools is not an easy task and we are determined to continue our high achieving status.”
Sand Gap Elementary reported, “Sand Gap Elementary is proud to be a Kentucky 4-Star School! We are blessed with a dedicated staff, family support and awesome TIGERS!”