Kentucky’s first round of 10 Persistently Low-Achieving Schools was identified in early spring of 2010, nearly one year ago. Eight of the 10 schools are high schools, so I thought it would be interesting to see how these schools did on the fall 2010 PLAN test administration.
Of course, the innovations being introduced in these schools haven’t had nearly enough time to show much impact, but it is still interesting to take a baseline look.
Here are the PLAN score trends from 2009-10 to 2010-11 for each of the first group of Persistently Low-Achieving High Schools. The far right column summarizes the one year trend in the Composite Score for each school (click on table to enlarge).
Overall, two schools actually had slight Composite Score declines while two stayed static, and four showed a score increase. Two of the four schools with an increase in score had a rather notable increase, 0.8 points or more.
Again, I would not make much of these trends, as the schools had not had much time to make changes when the PLAN was given, but there are causes for both optimism and caution here.
However, all of these schools still score below, sometimes very far below, the Kentucky-wide PLAN Composite average, which was 16.7 in 2010-11. And, the Kentucky average lags a national norm average set back in 2005 by 0.8 point, as well.
There is one other item of note. Schools are supposed to test every 10th grader, so the number of students taking the PLAN should closely agree with the enrollment in that grade. What is interesting is that in almost every school in the listing, the number of 10th graders tested dropped between 2009-10 and 2010-11. The number of students tested rose only in two of the schools.
Statewide, across all grades, enrollment only dropped very slightly from 652,071 students in 2009-10 to 651,025 students in 2010-11, a drop of about 0.16 percent. All of the schools with drops shown above had much larger percentage changes in the same time interval.