Dear Danville Families,
This week, we will receive results based on our new state accountability system. All public schools and districts in Kentucky are held accountable for educating children under a system called Unbridled Learning: College and Career Readiness for All. Several weeks ago, you received a brochure about this new system along with a similar letter.
Below you’ll find a few important points to remember as information is released about school and district accountability:
• Lower numbers in the new system don’t in any way indicate that a school has done something to negatively impact student learning since last year. As a matter of fact, in Danville, our teachers are doing a better job meeting the very diverse needs of each individual student than ever before. We are in our second year with MAP for grades 1-8, and are continuing to learn how to use this tool to help target specific learning needs.
• Although there is important information in the data that we can certainly learn from to continue to improve, it is also important to note that because of the new factors considered in this system, a high school, for example, with an ACT composite of 17 could score above one like DHS, with a composite of 20.
• The Unbridled Learning system will combine various measures to produce an overall accountability score from 0-100. Our former system, known as the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System, or CATS, used a scale from 0-140. Scores this year cannot be compared to prior years. The results we receive this year will serve as our baseline.
• The new state accountability system for schools and districts takes into account student performance on the tests listed below as well as other factors such as achievement gaps between groups of students, individual student growth, graduation rates, college and career readiness.
• K-PREP is a test given to measure how well students have learned content based on academic standards. This is one factor included in a school and district’s overall score.
• EXPLORE, PLAN and ACT are tests that show whether students are on course to graduate college-ready. As you might know, the ACT is especially important for college admission as well as scholarship opportunities.
• Students are considered to be college-ready by meeting specific benchmark scores for each content-area tested by the ACT. EXPLORE and PLAN also provide benchmark scores that tell us whether or not students are on track to meet those important ACT readiness scores. Scores from these assessments are also included in a school and district’s overall score.
• In the new system, schools and districts will fall into one of four classifications: Distinguished (top 10%), Proficient (top 30%), Progressing (schools meeting annual goals but not classified as Distinguished or Proficient) or Needs Improvement (the remaining schools/districts). In other words, 70% of the state’s schools and districts will fall into the Needs Improvement category.
• Each parent will receive reports based on how your child performed individually in the spring on K-PREP (students in grades 3-8), EXPLORE (grade 8), PLAN (grade 10) and ACT (grade 11).
Finally, though a school and district’s ratings and scores are important under any accountability system, it is also important to know that a goal of all schools should be to provide experiences beyond what a test can measure. Skills such as those included in the Danville Diploma, for example, are critical to ensure not only college and career readiness, but college and career success.
Again, individual student reports will be shared with you as soon as they are received. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to let your child’s teacher, principal or guidance counselor know if you have questions about state accountability results and/or your child’s progress.
Thank you for sharing your children with us!
Dr. Carmen Coleman, Superintendent