This WAVE-3 item shows that staff at Fern Creek High School are among those who just don’t get it.
“A group that met Wednesday night at the school calls the decision unfair, claiming in all their efforts to graduate well rounded students they are now being judged by one round of test scores.”
Let’s get this straight.
Test scores were only the trigger for the Persistently Low-Achieving School audit at Fern Creek. The audit looked at a whole lot more than just test results.
Audit findings for Fern Creek include:
1. The principal and council do not focus on delivery of the curriculum, instruction and assessment to meet students’ needs.
3. The principal and school council do not create a school plan that targets learning gaps and supports structures necessary for high student achievement.
4. The principal and the school council do not fully implement a school governance structure as mandated by state statute.
5. The principal and school council do not focus on the critical learning needs of gifted nor struggling students.
That’s based on looking at a lot more than just CATS/Kentucky Core Content Test test scores.
There are a lot more indications that this school does not perform well.
How about test results from the ACT’s PLAN test for high schools? The Kentucky Department of Education’s Excel file PLAN_Average_0607-0910.xls shows that in 2006-07, Fern Creek’s composite score was 15.9. It FELL to 15.2 in the 2009-10 school year. In the same time interval, the statewide composite average rose from 16.4 to 16.7. The school-to-state gap tripled from 0.5 point to 1.5 points.
Consider graduation rates. Using methods developed at Johns Hopkins University, the Bluegrass Institute’s report, “How Whites and Blacks Perform in Jefferson County Public Schools,” shows the school only graduated 40.7 percent of its black male students in 2008. Results were also dismal for both white and black females, where graduation rates hovered around 60 percent. That’s all. And, graduation rates for the school’s white females and black males had a trend of decline between the 2003-04 and 2007-08 school years.
Talk about graduating well-rounded individuals – They are not graduating at all!
How can the school’s staff miss things like this?
Let’s get this straight. Fern Creek’s underlying school culture has serious deficiencies. Perhaps the worst is that they clearly are in denial about their very obvious problems.
Sadly, denial seems to run deep in many parts of Jefferson County. For more examples of how educators in Jefferson County are denying obvious problems instead of dealing with them, check our earlier blogs here, here and here.