But, will this help Jefferson County?
The US Department of Education just announced that Kentucky will get another $7.7 million to spend on improving the state’s Persistently Low-Achieving Schools (PLAs) under the federal government’s School Improvement Grant (SIG) program.
US Ed’s announcement also claims:
“Early findings show positive momentum and progress in many SIG schools, and some of the greatest gains have been in small towns and rural communities.”
That is generally true here in Kentucky. The one glaring deficiency in the program, as has been made amply clear by Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday, is that most of the lagging PLAs are found in one location – Jefferson County.
This table shows the 2011-12 to 2012-13 trends in the percentages of students reaching or exceeding the PLAN Benchmark Scores in Jefferson County’s PLAs high schools along with the district and statewide data.
PLAN is given to all 10th grade students in the fall of the school term and the benchmark performance provides a good idea about how many students are on track to succeed in college and careers as of this grade level. Score declines in 2012-13 are shown in larger red typeface. Note that the majority of the Jefferson County PLAs high schools saw declines in both their mathematics and reading performance and now lag WELL behind the statewide average performance. The large number of PLAs schools in Jefferson County also dragged the overall district performance down, as well.
Statewide, aside from a slight drop in the reading performance, scores stayed stable or increased. So, Jefferson Count won’t catch up to the rest of the state when its scores are going backwards. Unless there is a dramatic change in performance with the ACT testing of 11th grade students, which is going on this month (beware of cheating, KDE!!!), the PLAN data indicates we can anticipate some significant management changes in Jefferson County schools this summer.