Test scores released by KDE; focus is on analyzing data and identifying areas for growth

On Wednesday, the Kentucky Department of Education released test scores for each district and public school in the state from the 2017-2018 school year.

As we communicated last year, this year’s test scores will look different than previously released results.   A new dashboard system, promised last year, is not yet implemented, therefore it may be confusing for families to interpret and understand the data.

First, it is important to understand that this year’s accountability scores will look different even from last year. Kentucky’s new accountability model is made up of seven indicators: proficiency (reading and math), separate indicator (science, social studies and writing), growth, graduation rate, transition readiness, achievement gap closure, and opportunity and access.

Due to several changes at both the federal and state levels, schools and districts will receive one of three designations: Comprehensive Support & Improvement (CSI), Targeted Support & Improvement (TSI), or Other for the 2017-2018 school year.

There are three types of CSI:
• CSI I (identified annually for support, beginning 2018-19) will focus on the bottom 5% of Title I and non-Title I schools based on accountability cut scores determined through a standard-setting
process.
• CSI II (identified annually for support, beginning 2018-19) includes high schools with less than 80% graduation rate for Title I or non-Title I high schools.
• CSI III (identified annually for support, beginning 2021-2022) includes Title I or non-Title I schools previously identified for Tier II Targeted Support for at least 3 years and have not exited.

TSI focuses on sub-groups of the student population of the school such as students receiving free/reduced price meals, students with disabilities, and English Language Learners (ELL). There are two types of TSI:
• Tier I (identified annually for support, beginning in 2020-2021) looks at one or more sub-groups performing in the bottom 10% of Title I and non-Title I schools for two consecutive years.
• Tier II (identified annually for support, beginning in 2018-19) looks at one or more sub-groups performing in the bottom 5% of Title I and non-Title I schools.

Schools that are not classified as CSI or TSI, in other words, not identified to receive support, will be classified as “Other”. For this new accountability model, for the 2017-2018 school year, schools and school districts want to be labeled “Other.”  “Other” is new and replaces a variety of labels from proficient to high performing to reward school that Kentuckians may remember from previous accountability systems in recent years.

Knox County’s data is as follows:

Although the updated classification and benchmark values have changed for this year, the one thing that has not is our commitment to rigorous teaching and learning in the classroom.  The strong support from you, our families, and our community will continue to allow Knox County Public Schools to grow and build off of these scores as we enter the new accountability system.  Don’t dismiss the importance of the report.  The numbers may look different, the labels may say different terminology, but more importantly, we are extremely proud of our students, teachers and staff who really performed well during the 2017-2018 school year.

We are already making changes to support schools classified as TSI, as well as opportunities for “other” schools to continue to grow.  Look at our updated syllabi on the KCPS website and you will see critical standards addressed for each course we teach.  Our teaching is intentional and focused, and our professional learning communities are as well.  Working collaboratively in PLC groups each week, teachers are identifying individual student needs and providing the enrichment or intervention needed for them to grow and succeed.

If you have questions about your child’s individual performance on last year’s assessment please contact his or her school in the upcoming days.