I got a question from the post yesterday about how Jefferson County’s reading performance doesn’t stack up against the real scoring from the Kentucky Core Content Tests. So, I am going to add to the discussion, this time using examples from the eighth grade EXPLORE reading tests from the ACT, Incorporated.
First, as this graph shows, Jefferson County’s eighth grade students scored below the statewide average on the EXPLORE tests in the 2007-08 school year (Note: the district fell even further behind the following school year, but that is another story).
Now, consider the next graph. It shows the percentage of students (rounded) that Every1Reads claims were reading “At or Above Grade Level” in the 2007-08 school year. That is compared to the statewide average percentage of students that scored at or above the EXPLORE reading “Benchmark Score” of 15.
The EXPLORE “Benchmark Score” identifies students who read well enough to pass an initial social studies course in a typically demanding US college. The figure of 33 percent was computed from the information in Table 1a in “The EXPLORE Profile Summary Report, Kentucky EPAS, 2007 – 2008.” The table shows that 67 percent of Kentucky’s students scored a 14 or lower. So, 100 minus 67, or 33 percent scored at or above the benchmark score of 15.
Unfortunately, data isn’t available to directly compute the percentage of students in Jefferson County that met the EXPLORE reading benchmark, but since the district’s scale score was lower than the state average for the assessment, it is a safe bet that somewhat less than one in three Jefferson County students is actually on track to do decent reading in postsecondary studies.
There is generally wide agreement these days that kids need some sort of postsecondary education. Thus, the fact that Jefferson County is preparing less than a third of its students to meet this goal is chilling evidence of the bankruptcy of the inflated, “At or Above Grade Level” claims from Every1Reads.
Find the EXPLORE Profile Summary Report here.
The EXPLORE scores for the state and Jefferson County are in an Excel spreadsheet available here.