Back on September 23rd, Jim Waters, the BIPPS CEO, issued “Bluegrass Beacon: Site-based concept failing schools, students.” This Beacon article is about problems in general with Kentucky’s School Based Decision Making (SBDM) system. Waters points out that even in what, by Kentucky standards, is the high performing school district in Boone County, the SBDM system creates serious problems and notable confusion for even highly experienced educators.
Most notably, Waters’ article never even mentions Jefferson County or Louisville. The article is directed at a statewide problem that impacts all Kentucky school districts.
But, staying on topic doesn’t matter in the Twittersphere. The very same day that the Beacon article was released, a Tweet showed up criticizing BIPPS for “attacking” urban districts (think Jefferson County here) while calling Boone County “high performing.” The tweet alleged that Boone County had the same issues as Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS), though “diluted” (whatever that might really mean). The Tweet’s implication was that educational performance in Boone County wasn’t materially different from Jefferson County’s.
Never mind that the article never made such comparisons.
In any event, the idea that folks in Jefferson County, which certainly isn’t performing well for its students, believed their school district was somehow equivalent to Boone’s performance was troubling. So, I collected 2016 ACT score data from the Kentucky School Report Card for each district and assembled that into the table below. Click the “Read more” link to see that.