Let’s get this clear.
There is no CATS accountability program in Kentucky anymore. There hasn’t been one since early 2009.
The CATS assessment program was thrown out by Senate Bill 1 during the Kentucky Legislature’s 2009 Regular Legislative Session when legislators realized that CATS and its academic tests were not giving us accurate information about how well kids were being prepared for college and careers – in other words, the things that really matter. CATS was just generating ‘feel good’ numbers.
Sadly, the official, legislative recognition that the CATS accountability program was a failure didn’t stop some members of the “KERA Amen Chorus” from fabricating their own numbers. These are unofficial numbers from a private group. They are not from an authorized, formal accountability program. And, they are based on tests that are being phased out – for cause – as rapidly as possible.
But, that isn’t stopping some school systems from making all sorts of misleading claims that they are still making progress with CATS.
Case in point is covered in this Casey County News article about Liberty Elementary School.
Nowhere in this article does it explain the truth – These are not CATS accountability index scores at all. Those index scores don’t exist anymore.
The school is crowing about a private ranking scheme that is totally dependent upon dubious scores from a discredited set of tests. If the school were at least honest with the public about what these “accountability indexes” really are, I wouldn’t be so upset.
But, apparently, the school isn’t telling anyone that their index was generated by an unofficial, private ranking scheme that has never been approved by any official entity.