For the second year in a row, results were somewhat mixed following K-PREP testing under Kentucky’s Unbridled Learning program, but Clinton County Schools are not alone in not meeting the overall complex standards set forth in the testing system, according to Instructional Supervisor/Assistant Superintendent Paula Little.
Results of the accountability tests for 2013 were released on September 27 and revealed that both Albany Elementary and Clinton County Middle School were listed in the “needs improvement” category. However, once again, Clinton County High School received a “proficient/progressing” status, and just narrowly missing, by one tenth of a point, being name “distinguished,” which is the highest level obtainable.
The high school percentile was 89 percent with an overall score of 64.3.
Although the other schools joined the majority of schools in the state listed in the needs improvement category, their overall percentages were high enough for the district as a whole to be deemed “needs improvement/progressing” status, meaning the district is moving forward.
Little admitted the overall results could have been better, but noted “the district was labeled as ‘progressing’ which means we met the annual goal of improvement and are headed in the right direction.” She said the elementary and middle school results were basically steady with only a few changes.
Perhaps the results of the latest test that stands out the most important is in the area of College/Career Readiness, with the middle school and high school being “well above” the state average when it comes to preparing students for college and/or careers after graduation.
College/Career Readiness at CCMS in 2013 was at 53.7, up dramatically from 37.8 in 2012, and 6.5 points above the 47.2 state average. The high school was even more impressive in that category, being at 77.7 this year, up from 68.1 a year ago and 17 points above the state average of 60.7.
The high school remains below the state average on graduation rates, being at 82.4 in 2013, compared to the state average of 86.1. However, it rose almost six points from 2012 when the graduation rate was at 76.5.
“One of the most important indicators is the CCHS graduation rate continued to improve,” said Little. “When looking at achievement, the high school is above the state average in reading, math, social studies, writing and language mechanics…the only category they are behind the state average is in science.”
As far as the middle school, social studies was the strongest academic category by far, and math showed a positive increase from previous years, as did writing. Reading and science, which showed a significant drop, are primary areas of concern at CCMS.
Albany Elementary School scores stayed roughly the same as the previous year, with slight increases in some areas and slight decreases in others. The school did, however, have higher levels of student growth in math than the state average.
The area of science, across the board, seems to be one of the primary focuses and Little said teachers are working to initiate new common core standards into their classroom instruction and hopefully those efforts will improve science scores in the future.
“Overall as a whole (the district) has improved as shown by the ‘progressing’ status,” she said, adding CCHS was outstanding and would show up as one of the top schools in the region. “We will continue to focus on any and all areas where we can improve student learning.”
Each of the schools in the district have an “assessment coordinator” who works hard throughout the year in preparing for the accountability assessment tests each year, including Michelle Summers at Albany Elementary, Barbara McWhorter at the middle school, Todd Messer at Foothills Academy, and Gina Poore at the high school. Little commended those four individuals, as well as students, staff and administrators for the hard work put in each year to make the assessments go smoothly, adding the district was blessed to have three such (aforementioned) assessment coordinators.
Even though the district works throughout the year to improve on student achievement and strengthen categories where weaknesses are revealed, the Instructional Supervisor noted a major addition to next year’s K-PREP testing, called the program review.
The program review portion of the tests, which basically has each individual school to assess, measure and report its own achievements, will count as some 23 percent, or almost one-quarter, of the entire accountability scoring in 2014.
Each school will review progress and initiatives in arts and humanities, potential living career studies, etc.
Little noted that this new “program review” required by each school, due to the high 23 percent it will count toward the overall accountability percentages, would be an extremely important aspect for not only local schools, but all schools.