The Kentucky Board of Education had a two-day meeting on December 7 and 8, 2010 which devoted major time to discussions about Kentucky’s new school assessment program, scheduled to launch around 2012.
There is still a lot of work to be done, and many decisions left to be made, but some key points are starting to emerge, as this Kentucky School Boards Council news release points out.
One key decision concerns the scoring categories for schools. Unless the board revises their decision as the assessment development continues, the scoring categories will be: “Distinguished,” “Proficient,” “Needs Improvement,” or “Persistently Low-Achieving.”
Unlike the program with the CATS assessment, at present there are no plans for score subdivisions for the four score categories.
When CATS ended in 2008, schools fit into one of three major categories, “Meets Goal,” “Progressing” or “Assistance.” However, there were multiple subdivisions of those three main categories such as: “Meets Goal,” “Meets Goal – Dropout Rate and Novice Reduction (not acceptable),” “Meets Goal – Dropout Rate (not acceptable)” and “Meets Goal – Novice Reduction (not acceptable).”
The current board has apparently decided Kentucky has had enough of lauding small amounts of progress. The board is sending a signal that it is time to get on with the mission of reaching proficiency, not something less (Jefferson County, are you listening?).