Kentucky’s progress is being closely watched around the country because we are the first state to start testing with Common Core aligned assessments. EdWeek points out that there have been small score gains in most cases when we look at overall average scores, but things start to look less rosy when you break the data out by race.
I was particularly struck by one comment:
“For elementary school students in reading, proficiency rates were either flat (for whites) or declined a little (for all other racial subgroups). Those who stress literacy by third grade as a key target for future student success, a relatively popular approach across states, won’t be pleased by those numbers.”
That’s absolutely right.
The article also quotes from Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday:
“Overall, the math and reading scores in grade 3-8 and high school did go up, but the concerns we have is they did not go up fast enough.”
That is mostly correct, as well.
But EdWeek also noted something the commissioner chose to omit:
“(He left out the fact that for some groups of students, scores declined.)”
In year two of a testing program, such score declines are both unexpected and unacceptable. And, overlooking minority performance problems isn’t acceptable, either. Unfortunately, it looks like our Unbridled Learning accountability system may be overlooking minority performance. We’ll be looking into that more in the future.