The Courier-Journal attached a short video interview with the principal of Fern Creek High School in Louisville to a recent on-line article about Louisville’s six schools that have been identified as some of Kentucky’s Persistently Low-Achieving Schools.
The principal started right off denying that his school was “failing,” implying the audit labeled the school this way.
The audit didn’t say that.
The term “failing” only occurs twice in Fern Creek’s School Leadership Assessment Report, and it is only used to discuss how students who fail a course are handled. The audit does not claim the school is “failing.” That is a label the newspapers concocted.
It gets more interesting.
The principal claims in the video that his ACT scores rose a full point last year. I wonder what he is looking at.
Kentucky started testing all 11th grade students with the ACT in 2008. The state has now reported the results for 2009, as well. The Kentucky Department of Education report on the ACT results for all schools for both years is available in an Excel spreadsheet.
This spreadsheet shows that Fern Creek’s ACT Composite Score was 17.1 in 2008. It FELL to 16.6 in 2009.
Maybe the graduates’ scores did something different (those scores have not been publicly released), but the 11th grade ACT data isn’t optimistic.
We also have four years of 10th grade test results for a closely related test from the ACT called “PLAN.” Again, the Kentucky Department of Education has results available in another Excel Spreadsheet.
Fern Creek’s PLAN Composite Score was 15.9 in the 2006-07 school year. It fell to 15.5 in the 2007-08 term and then slightly increased to 15.6 in the 2008-09 school year. But, in 2009-10 the school’s PLAN Composite fell again to a four-year low of 15.2.
So, even if the graduates’ ACT scores improved (again, I don’t have data on that), there is plenty of other information aside from the three-year evaluation of math and reading scores that triggered the audit that also shows this school isn’t doing well.