The Kentucky Department of Education has released the state test results from 2017-18, which showed a district-wide improvement to novice reduction in both elementary and middle schools in Christian County.
The data also shows that both Hopkinsville High School and Christian County High School were above the state’s average graduation rate, with Christian County at 94 percent and Hopkinsville at 93 percent. Due to the new accountability system being incomplete in many areas, high school assessment data is not comparable to last year. The state no longer uses end-of-course assessments and the use of ACT is the sole academic measure.
There was a 2.1 percent decrease overall in the amount of elementary school students scoring novice in reading. In particular, Pembroke Elementary reduced the number of students scoring novice in math by 10.4 percent, Indian Hills reduced that number by 20.8 percent in writing and Sinking Fork saw a reduction of 6.2 percent in Math.
Improvements were seen in reading, math, social studies and writing in the middle schools. Novice reductions also occurred in several student target groups—English learners, Hispanic, African American, free and reduced lunch, and two or more races.
Crofton, Millbrooke and Indian Hills Elementary Schools were labeled as “Other”, which meant they had no identified achievement gaps. The previous labels of “Distinguished” or “Proficient” have been eliminated, with the scoring moving to a star system, which is not yet in place.
District Assessment Coordinator Tracey Leath says both Freedom Elementary and Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary were labeled as Comprehensive School Improvement, which means they are in bottom five percent of all schools by level.
She says there are seven schools in the district labelled Targeted School Improvement, which means they had at least one student group performing below all schools by level.
In Kentucky, 51 schools were in the Comprehensive School Improvement category and 431 were labeled Targeted School Improvement. Achievement gaps will play a large role in the accountability system, when the new star rating system is implemented.
Chief Instructional Officer Amy Wilcox says what they cannot do is make closing the gaps a numbers game, which would be make them lose sight of the students’ welfare.
Superintendent Mary Gemmill says the data confirms the work they are doing with targeted groups and content areas is important and that much work remains to be done. She says they will continue to improve current work with community partners involving early learning to help prevent learning gaps.