KPREP scores released, new accountability system in effect

Much of the Commonwealth’s redesigned accountability system, which is part of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA,) went into effect with the most recent Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress or KPREP tests that were administered this past spring.   Scores through the redesigned accountability system are based on multiple academic indicators and school quality measures.  This year the indicators and measures that will be used to score districts and schools are:

  • Proficiency (student performance on reading and mathematics tests)
  • Separate Academic Indicator (student performance on science, social studies and writing tests)
  • Growth (based on reading and mathematics scores)
  • Transition readiness (high school only this year)
  • Graduation rate (high school only)


While districts and schools receive a score in each of these areas, their scores are also compared to “cut scores” that are set by the state for each indicator.  For each indicator, scores are given for the district elementary, middle and high schools, as a whole, and for each individual school, in particular. 


Three of the indicator scores – Proficiency Index, Separate Academic Indicator, and Growth – show that the district either met or outpaced the state cut scores, as shown below.  (Note that scores for the Separate Growth Indicator and Growth are shown only at the elementary and middle levels this year.)




































Scores from the Reading and Mathematics tests are used to calculate the Proficiency Index and Growth Projection Indicator.  The Separate Academic Indicator uses scores from the Science, Social Studies and Writing tests.  Language proficiency for English learners is also a factor in assessing the Growth Projection Indicator.


At the high school level this year, districts will be scored on a student’s readiness to transition to successful adult life.  (Last year, the term for this indicator was College and Career Readiness.)  This includes earning a high school diploma by meeting/exceeding the Kentucky minimum requirements to graduate high school.  (Note: At a later date, students exiting the 5th and 8th grades will also receive a transition readiness score.)  Students will also be expected to meet the requirements of either academic readiness or career readiness, which include, for academic readiness, meeting the benchmarks determined by the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) on a college admissions exam OR, for career readiness, meeting the benchmarks on Industry Certification; OR scoring at or above the benchmarks on the Career and Technical Education End-of-Program Assessment. 


High schools are also scored on their Graduation Rate, meaning the percentage of students who successfully complete requirements for graduation and attain their high school diploma.  This year, scores for Transition Readiness and Graduation Rate at both the district level, which include both Rowan County Senior High School and Bluegrass Discovery Academy, and solely the high school, outpaced the state’s cut scores, as shown below:






















Last spring, Rowan County Schools’ students in grades 3-8 along with over 350,000 students across the Commonwealth completed KPREP tests that covered five different content areas: Reading, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and On-Demand Writing.


At the high school level, the scores from the annual ACT exam taken by all Kentucky high school juniors make up the reading and mathematics portion of the accountability scores at the high school. 


“Even though there have been substantial changes in the Commonwealth’s accountability system, some things will remain consistent,” said Rowan County Schools Superintendent John Maxey.  “Students taking these assessment tools are still being scored using a scale that measures the student’s achievement and growth, ranking as Novice, Apprentice, Proficient, or Distinguished.  By having these rankings for the individual students, teachers will be able to track a student’s growth through the years.”


He then added, “Our District Assessment Coordinator, Allison Mathews, has met with our principals and faculty and together they have discussed both the strengths and the concerns that exist at each school.  They have also discussed how they plan to address to address their needs so that all our students have the skills to be successful.”


In determining a school’s accountability score, the school receives a score for all students, but the accountability data also reflects scores received by students in a variety of demographic subgroups, such as race identification, disability, English language learners, and free/reduced lunch qualification.  By dividing a school population into these demographic subgroups and analyzing how these students performed on their tests, the faculty and administrators are able to determine strengths and weaknesses in closing achievement gaps.


In the revised accountability system, a limited number of schools, the bottom 5%, will be identified as CSI (Comprehensive Support and Improvement.)  More schools will be identified as TSI (Targeted Support and Improvement.)  At the elementary and middle school levels, CSI and TSI schools will be identified by proficiency, separate academic indicator and growth measures in 2017-2018. At the high school level, indicator of proficiency, graduation rate and transition readiness will be used to identify CSI and TSI high schools.   Assignment of the designations is based upon the performance of the school’s subgroups.  Schools that are not identified with the CSI or TSI designation will be identified as Other.


Clearfield Elementary School saw significant reductions in students scoring at the Apprentice level in 3rd grade and 5th grade reading and 5th grade mathematics.  Proficient scores in 3rd grade and 5th grade reading as well as 5th grade mathematics outpaced both District and State scores significantly while the school’s Distinguished On-Demand Writing scores outpaced those of the State level.  The 5th grade Proficient scores outpaced state scores by 13.9 percentage points.


“Clearfield has been working hard on reducing Novice scorers in all areas.  Our students are growing significantly across the board by the time they leave us after fifth grade,” said Misty Litton, CES principal.  “Our emphasis this year is on building foundational skills in Reading, Writing, and Math in grades kindergarten through second, while ensuring the appropriate depth and rigor of learning is a focus in third through fifth grades.  Clearfield approaches student learning with high academic expectations and a lot of love and support for students as individuals.”


McBrayer Elementary School exceeded district and/or state Proficient and Distinguished scores in every tested area. One of the school’s most significant increases was in the Distinguished scores in On-Demand Writing, moving from 13.6% to 27.2%.  The state Distinguished score was just 7.5%.  Reducing the number of students scoring at the Novice or Apprentice levels is an important element of the accountability system.  In 2018, the percentage of McBrayer students scoring Novice or Apprentice in reading, mathematics, social studies and on-demand writing was less than the state percentages.


“Administrators and teachers at McBrayer Elementary School have worked over the past couple of years to break down and analyze multiple pieces of data, review resources our teachers have access to, and together we have planned our curriculum pacing so that all academic areas have had a focus. This work and collaboration has supported academic growth in all subject areas,” said MES principal Rhonda Banks.  “I am very pleased with the growth all of our students are showing especially in the area of writing. I am confident that our continued efforts toward collaboration, analyzing data, and planning will increase our students’ achievement each year.” 


Rodburn Elementary School saw significant reductions in the percentage of students scoring Novice in reading, mathematics and social studies.  The percentage of students scoring Novice was substantially less than the state level, an achievement that is important in accountability.  In 3rd grade reading, Proficient scores saw a significant increase from 2017 to 2018 and they dramatically outpaced the state scores.  The school’s Distinguished scores in reading and mathematics (3rd and 4th grade,) social studies and on-demand writing also exceeded those at the district and/or state levels. Rodburn saw the greatest improvement from 2017 to 2018 in the percentage of students scoring Distinguished in on-demand writing and in 3rd grade mathematics.  Of Rowan County Schools’ six schools, Rodburn Elementary School had the highest percentage of students scoring at the Distinguished level.


Andrea Murray, RES principal, remarked, “Our vision statement at Rodburn is ‘Whatever it takes our students are worth it.’   We develop a plan and a goal for each student to meet.  We celebrate our success and we don't give up if they didn't meet their goal because we know they will meet it in time.  We are always proud of our students at Rodburn Elementary.”


Tilden Hogge Elementary School had as their focus reducing the percentage of students scoring at the Novice level.  The accountability data show that their efforts paid off in 3rd and 4th grade reading, 3rd, 4th and 5th grade mathematics and on-demand writing.  The most dramatic drop in Novice scores occurred in 3rd grade mathematics with a drop from 43.2% in 2017 to 24.3% in 2018, a difference of 18.9 percentage points.  In 2018, there were also increases in the percentage of students scoring Proficient in 4th and 5th grade reading as well as 3rd and 4th grade mathematics.  There was also an increase in the percentage of students scoring Distinguished in 3rd and 4th reading as well as 4th grade mathematics.  The most significant increase was the percentage of students scoring Distinguished in 3rd grade reading, with a 13.5% increase.


THES principal Brandy Breeze stated, “Our students saw success last year when teachers provided multiple learning opportunities in small guided groups, whole group, and during collaboration with peers.  The increased use of individualized learning had a positive impact on novice reduction.”

Reductions in students scoring at the Novice level at Rowan County Middle School occurred in reading (8th grade,) mathematics (6th grade & 8th grade,) social studies and on-demand writing.  The school also saw increases in the percentage of students scoring at the Distinguished level in reading (6th & 8th grades,) mathematics (6th & 8th grades,) and on-demand writing.  Many of these Distinguished scores outpaced those at the district and/or state level.  The most dramatic improvement from 2017 to 2018 was seen in the Proficient scores in social studies with an 11.9% increase.  The Distinguished on-demand writing percentage points outpaced state scores by 14%.


RCMS principal Jay Padula stated, “RCMS is proud of our students, teachers and staff. Their accomplishments across the board are outstanding.”


The ACT exam, which is administered each spring to all high school juniors across the Commonwealth, provides the reading and mathematics accountability scores at the high school level.  The reading score for Rowan County Senior High School at 20.8 outpaced the state score, which stood at 19.8.  The state score for 2018 showed a drop in reading from 2017 while the score for the same area at RCSHS showed an increase from 2017 to 2018.  While the mathematics score at Rowan County Senior High School did not quite meet the state score this year, the score for state in mathematics showed a significant drop in the 2018 scores as compared to 2017 while the high school’s mathematics score demonstrated an increase over the same time period.


While On-demand writing was one of the areas that was assessed last spring, the only subjects that were looked at for accountability reporting at the high school were Reading and Mathematics.  High schools did receive their scores in On-demand writing, though, and Rowan County Senior High School saw a 13.4% reduction in students scoring at the Novice level.  There was also an increase in the percentage of students scoring at the Proficient and Distinguished levels in the same assessed area and, similarly, these scores outpaced the state scores.


“We are very proud of the progress that we have made with our students and will work at continuously improving this year,” stated RCSHS principal Brandy Carver.


While students in grades 3-8 were tested in science in 2017, the scores from that science exam were not part of that year’s accountability system.  The scores for the science exam administered in 2018 are part of this year’s accountability system.   Of Rowan County Schools’ five schools taking a science exam, Rodburn Elementary School had the highest percentage of students scoring at the Distinguished level.  Clearfield Elementary School had the highest percentage of students scoring at the Proficient level.


“This year’s scores are a reflection of the work that our teachers and students have been doing.  Teachers work each day to provide intervention and help their students improve skills,” remarked Allison Mathews, District Assessment Coordinator for Rowan County Schools.  “Teachers and administrators across the district have already been meeting to analyze the data revealed in their accountability scores.  This gives the school staff a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses and helps them determine the methods to address their needs.”


She then added, “With the release of the scores for 2018, our new accountability system has begun to go into effect.  While there have been some significant changes in the Commonwealth’s revised accountability system, the intent is the same.  The system is helping our schools work to improve instructional methods, which, in turn, helps our students master the standards and prepare them to reach their goals.”

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