The scores are in for Kentucky’s “Unbridled Learning” testing system, and out of the gates, it appears that Pulaski County’s three school districts have done well.
Kentucky’s newest testing system — put into effect during the 2011-2012 school year after the state was granted a waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act — features a number of measures at the elementary, middle and high school levels.
“We’re still meeting the (requirements) of No Child Left Behind, but we’re doing it with our own model,” said Somerset Schools Superintendent Boyd Randolph.
The results are based on the Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP), administered in Spring of 2012 in five content areas: Reading, mathematics, science, social studies and writing. At the high school level, four end-of-course exams were given to students in Algebra II, English II, Biology and U.S. History.
The results, released at 12:01 a.m. Friday, may suggest that many school districts fell below expectations. But the system's design automatically ensured that 69 percent of schools and districts would end up in the "needs improvement" classification.
“Almost three-fourths of schools in Kentucky are going to be (classified as) ‘needs improvement’ just because of the statistics,” said Somerset District Assessment Coordinator Cindy Ham. “ ... ‘Needs improvement’ is not an F. It’s simply saying there are areas they (school districts) need to improve on.”
The new test contains more components, such as graduation rates and college and career readiness, and it means that schools are being tested on more things — and thus, some schools may find the going a little bit tougher.
The remaining 31 percent of school districts not classified as “needs improvement” are classified as “proficient” or “distinguished.” Those between 70 and 89 percent are “proficient” and those at 90 percent and higher are "distinguished."