School board gets preliminary look at latest student assessments

Posted October 4, 2017 at 8:53 am

Although the Clinton County School Board received pages and pages of numbers and breakdowns from each school in regards to state testing, there are really no bottom line answers to assess specific progress district-wide, nor at individual schools.

That was the message from Assistant Superintendent/Instructional Supervisor Paula Little, who gave a report on student and school performance from last spring’s state assessments during a special call meeting Thursday afternoon with four of five board members on hand.

Little presented board members, superintendent Charlotte Nasief and board attorney Angie Capps what she described as the “entire school report card,” basically noting there wasn’t anything much to summarize since the state Department of Education is “in the middle” of changing the student and school district accountability system, which is likely to make things even more complicated in determining individual or school progress in the future.

Little did say the heavy amount of data in the report could be looked at to review areas to help the district get better in areas where it appears to have shortfalls. “How did we (as a district do)?” she asked at one point, “there is really no barometer,” she added.

The Instructional Supervisor did note that by looking at the data available it appears some areas need to be worked on, especially in closing the GAP areas that the state figures into overall student success, such as male to female, students who qualify for free or reduced lunches, students with disabilities, etc.

Little touched on both areas of concern, as well as areas that showed the most improvements at each school and grade level, noting for example, reading showed the biggest area of improvement at Albany Elementary.

While on another end of the scale, Social Studies was the biggest concern at the middle school but it did look positive in writing and language mechanics.

At CCHS, writing and four end-of-course exams were a concern, but the highest area of positive news at the high school was the percentage of students who were College and Career Ready and the high (over 97 percent) graduation rate.

It was noted that although the report is lengthy, a summarized version will eventually be published in the local newspaper and the entire report can be accessed through the Kentucky Department of Education’s web page. To access the report, readers can go to KDE Report, type in Clinton School Report Card.

Meanwhile, the education advocacy organization, the Pritchard Committee, also published a summary of the state assessment pertaining to Kentucky schools as a whole and details of those findings are published below:

Statewide assessment and accountability results for academic year 2017 show declining reading and mathematics proficiency compared to 2016, along with declines in most tested subjects for African American students and English learners. Although some areas of the annual assessment demonstrate improvement, those lowered results are cause for concern, discussion and renewed effort across the Commonwealth, the report stated.

Good news is evident in rapidly rising proficiency in elementary and high school writing, stronger 11th grade ACT results and increasing graduation rates.

Other strengths in the report:

* Graduation rates up for most student groups (but down for African American and English learners)

* Rising science proficiency at the high school levels for most student groups (but declining for students for two or more races and English learners)

* Rising proficiency for students with disabilities across most subjects (exceptions for middle school writing, high school math and high school social studies), at a pace that can contribute importantly to narrowing the widest achievement gaps.

Other causes for concern:

* Declining proficiency for many student groups in reading and math in high school.

* Declining proficiency for many groups for middle school writing and high school social studies.

* Declining proficiency for African American students in elementary and middle school social studies in a year when most student groups saw growth in those assessments.

* Declining proficiency for English learners in almost every subject.

The board also held another closed session on a student disciplinary matter with no announcement what action, if any, was taken.

The board will hold its monthly work session on Thursday, October 12 at 4:30 p.m. and monthly business meeting Monday, October 16 at 5 p.m., both at the Central Office and both are open to the public.