I have already written here and here about the puzzle presented for Unbridled Learning by a recent “Internal School Review Report” for the Fleming County High School. This scathing report, a type often referred to simply as an audit, calls for the removal of the principal at Fleming County High while in the 2012-13 Unbridled Learning school accountability program this school was rated “Proficient” and ranked very high at the 87th percentile for all schools in Kentucky.
That report versus Unbridled Learning disagreement simply does not compute. The report also triggered a student revolt in support of their principal, a rather remarkable thing all by itself.
Here is some more information.
I checked how Fleming County performed on reading and math in 2011, the year it was named a “Persistently Low-Achieving School.” I then checked the school’s performance for reading and math in 2013. This graph shows what I found.
Notice that in 2011 Fleming County High scored near the very bottom for all schools in Kentucky in these critical subjects. Things had changed notably by 2013, when the school moved up to rank better than more than one in three schools in Kentucky. That performance still isn’t good enough, but the improvement does seem significant.
I also checked where the other schools that were named Persistently Low-Achieving in 2011 fared in 2013 on combined math and reading proficiency rates. This table tells that story.
Fleming County didn’t turn in the best performance, but it certainly was far from the worst.
So, I am wondering – should we retire Fleming’s principal, who has only been on the job for two years? He certainly has not produced the stunning performance of a Hopkins County Central High School or a Franklin-Simpson High, but he has done notably better than a lot of the schools in the list above.
I’m also getting a bit concerned about the Internal School Review Report. They never discuss how very low Fleming’s performance was in 2011 and how it really has made a notable jump up since. That bothers me. While I certainly think Fleming County High should not have made it to the 87th percentile in the official Unbridled Learning results in 2013, I am not really sure the school has done quite as badly as the report indicates. It may be the people doing the report were expecting too much, too soon.
Also, I wonder why the audit ignored that 87th percentile rank in Unbridled Learning. Shouldn’t there be some comment about that in the audit?
I certainly hope the Kentucky Board of Education and the Kentucky legislature give this situation a thorough look. Things just seem very unsettled to me on this one.