Council on Postsecondary Education VP says Kentucky must double up efforts to close achievement gaps
Echoing comments we at the Bluegrass Institute have frequently made in regards to K to 12 education, Dr. Aaron Thompson, the executive vice president and chief academic officer for the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, says, “Kentucky must double up efforts to close achievement gaps.”
But, Thompson adds new information that the serious and often growing achievement gaps between Kentucky’s privileged and minority and poor students extend out of the K to 12 system right on to college. He says:
“Statewide, nearly 50 percent of first-time, full-time bachelor’s degree students who enter ready to take credit-bearing courses complete a degree within six years, compared to 37 percent of low-income students, 28 percent of underprepared students, and 33 percent of minority students.”
Sadly, that goes hand in glove with other statistics we have recently discussed from the National Assessment of Educational Progress that show the white versus black achievement gaps in Kentucky’s public schools have been growing over time. The impact of that growing achievement gap has now worked its way into the state’s postsecondary education system.
Clearly, the traditional public school system in Kentucky is not meeting Dr. Thompson’s call for better efforts and it is time to try something else like charter schools. Charter schools in states with solid laws are producing notable gains for minority students, something Kentucky clearly needs to do, as well.
By the way, here is an example of gap growth in NAEP fourth grade math in Kentucky from the earliest available year of data to the most current. This is not a success story for Kentucky’s traditional public education system.
Click the “Read more” link to see how the gaps have also grown for NAEP fourth grade reading and eighth grade reading and math.