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New Kentucky School Assessment System Goes Live in September

At its Aug. 7 meeting in Frankfort, the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) discussed the development and implementation of Kentucky’s new 5-star school rating system, which will go live in September after the 2018-2019 K-PREP test scores are released.

Associate Commissioner Rhonda Sims and Division Director Jennifer Stafford of the Office of Standards, Assessment and Accountability provided an update on the system. Using data from the 2018-2019 school year, Kentucky’s accountability system will provide an overall rating for each school, district and the state ranging from 1 (the lowest) to 5 (the highest) stars. The star rating, along with other important education data, will be available on the new Kentucky School Report Card.

Elementary and middle schools will receive star ratings based on student assessments in reading, mathematics, science, social studies and writing; and student growth in reading and mathematics. High schools will be rated based on student assessments in reading, mathematics, science and writing; transition (academic or career) readiness; and graduation rate. Elementary and middle school accountability will contain a measure of growth on (and high schools for attainment of) English language proficiency for English learners on an exam that includes speaking, listening, reading and writing in English.

The 5-star accountability system is designed to focus attention on the need to close achievement gaps. A school or district that would have been a 5- or 4-star will be reduced by 1 star if it has significant achievement gaps between the performances of groups of students.

“If a school has very high scores, for example, but also has a group of low income students who aren’t seeing that same academic success as their peers, the school’s 5-star rating would be lowered to a 4-star,” Sims said.

-Staff report