To support a radio interview today with Bluegrass Institute’s President, Jim Waters, on WLLV in Louisville, I assembled some of the latest education statistics for Jefferson County (JeffCo) and Kentucky. The table below shows the most recently released score and graduation rate information from the Kentucky Department of Education’s web site, including the “Open House” data portal. That most recently available data is shaded yellow.
I also looked at how the 11th grade class of 2011-12 did on the EXPLORE test when they were in the 8th grade in the 2008-09 school year (data in tan taken from the report released that year).
While JeffCo seems to be about middle of the pack for the ACT Composite Score in 2011-12, that can create a misleading idea about overall education performance in the district.
Based on the latest available high school graduation rates, the district drops out a lot more students than the statewide average. If more of your weak kids leave school before the ACT is given, it inflates your scores more.
Let’s expand on that.
When we look at how JeffCo does before kids start to drop out using the EXPLORE test, which is given to 8th graders, JeffCo ranks way down on the list.
Also, even when we look at how the 11th grade class of 2011-12 did when they took EXPLORE as 8th graders in 2008-09, JeffCo ranks well down on the list, as well.
Even worse, JeffCo’s rank on EXPLORE dropped notably, declining by 7 places, between 2008-09 and 2011-12. That is because between those years the state average EXPLORE Composite Score increased by 0.5 point while in JeffCo the score went up only 0.3 point.
You can’t catch up if you are running slower!
(Editorial Note: Rankings Updated in Table and title added 28 Sep 12)