Last week I started this blog series, which shows why we’re concerned at BIPPS about the quality of high school diplomas being awarded in Kentucky.
I looked at two separate indicators of diploma quality in each of Kentucky’s 168 school districts that have high schools.
One approach analyzed the variation between high school diploma award rates and the proficiency rates on the state’s Algebra II End-of-Course Exam (EOC). This approach is worthwhile because Kentucky’s regulations require competency in Algebra II material to graduate. While success on the Algebra II EOC is not a graduation requirement, districts with very large variations between graduation rates and Algebra II EOC proficiency rates still should raise flags. This is particularly true when other Kentucky school districts are producing graduation rates much more in line with their Algebra II numbers.
The second analysis compared high school diploma award rates to the proportion of graduates able to meet at least one of Kentucky’s official college and/or career ready (CCR) criteria. Since readiness is a stated goal in Kentucky, students that cannot even meet the modest requirements in the state’s official CCR criteria raise doubts as to their true academic performance. If Kentucky is to live up to its readiness promise to the students and citizens of the commonwealth, we must not have high graduation numbers with only small proportions of those graduates able to meet at least one official readiness criterion.
Since we earlier created two separate analysis spreadsheets, for today’s blog, I combine the results from those two separate spreadsheets into one, overall examination of diploma quality. The table below contains the top 10 and bottom 10 districts from the combined listing. A full Excel spreadsheet with all districts listed is available as Grad Rate Combined Comparison Alg II and Eff Grad Rates Together Clean Final.
Once again, you want your school system to be at the bottom of this listing where we find school districts like Beechwood and Murray.
School districts ranking at the top, such as Williamburg Independent, generate the most concern regarding the quality of their high school diplomas.