Understanding Changes to Kentucky Accountability

Background Information
Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and Senate Bill 1 (2017), Kentucky is required to meaningfully differentiate between schools through its accountability system in an effort to identify schools each year that need help in improving overall student outcomes or the outcomes of one or more specific group(s) of students. Federal law requires only the identification of Title I schools. State law expands identification to include non-Title I schools.
In February, 2018, the Kentucky Board of Education approved a new accountability system to be implemented beginning with the 2018-19 school year. Therefore, the 2017-18 school year is a transition year.

What is this year’s accountability based on?
Accountability for 2017-2018 is based on student performance on state assessments, the ACT college entrance exam at the high school level, as well as selective school quality indicators:

Elementary and Middle School:
Proficiency: (K-PREP reading and math scores) Separate Academic Indicator (K-PREP science, social studies and writing scores) Growth (progress toward proficiency in reading and math; English attainment for English learners)

High School:
Proficiency (ACT reading and math scores) Transition Rate (academic and career readiness excluding dual credit and verification of exceptional work experience; English learner attainment of English proficiency). Graduation Rate (average of 4- and 5-year rates)

How are schools classified?
Schools are identified only for Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) or Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI). All remaining schools will be identified as “Other.”

What’s in store for the future?
Kentucky’s 5-star accountability system is scheduled to take effect for the 2018-2019 school year and will further differentiate school performance. Additional measures and indicators are scheduled to be included pending final approval of Kentucky’s Consolidated State Plan by the United States Department of Education.

What do these results report?
In 2017-2018, as in the past, Kentucky public school students in grades 3 through 8 completed Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP) tests in five content areas. Students take reading and mathematics assessments annually in grades 3 through 8. Other subjects are assessed once per grade level with science assessed in grades 4 and 7; and social studies and on-demand writing assessed in grades 5 and 8.

At the high school level, the state is moving to summative tests in English, mathematics, science and social studies developed by Kentucky teachers and aligned to the Kentucky Academic Standards. A new social studies summative assessment will be developed once new social studies standards are approved.

As in past years, in spring 2018, high school juniors took the ACT college entrance exam. Since summative tests are under development, the ACT is being used for reading, mathematics and science assessment for 2017-2018 accountability at the high school level. High school students also complete a writing test in grade 11.