One important action taken in the May 14, 2010 meeting of the Kentucky Legislature’s Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee was the approval of a new edition of regulation Kentucky 703 KAR 5:060, “Interim Assessment and Accountability Process,” which governs the accountability program in the state.
Included in this revision are requirements for Kentucky to adopt reporting with a more accurate interim graduation rate formula, known as the “Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate,” beginning in 2011.
During discussions on the regulation, which only covers a short, interim period for the next few years, it was also announced, assuming the state stays on schedule with the implementation of its Infinite Campus student tracking program, that we will switch to an even higher accuracy graduation rate reporting process in 2013.
Most states are already reporting high-accuracy graduation rates using the approach we will have to wait until 2013 to see. Historically, as states get honest about this important statistic, they find out their old reporting programs seriously overstated the real graduation rates in their schools.
I expect the same shock about our public school system is about to hit us, starting next year.
Here is an example of the kinds of graduation rates we might see, based on using a tool found in the Alliance for Excellent Education’s web site. This tool allows you to quickly determine a graduation-rate-like figure for all the high schools in Kentucky.
It’s a real shame that we don’t have accurate graduation rate data now. If we did, more of you would understand why Kentucky’s failure to implement charters schools has let more kids drop through the education cracks.
Charters, you see, like this one, are starting to show dramatic results with kids who likely would never have finished high school had they remained trapped in the traditional public school system. But, our teachers’ union doesn’t seem to want any Kentucky kids to benefit from this sort of effective help to graduate.