The new PLAN scores for Kentucky’s 10th grade students that released last week have a little good news and a lot of very cautionary news.
The good news is that our white students’ average score in English now exceeds the PLAN “Benchmark” score that represents good odds that the students will pass their first college course in English. That means a little over half of our high school students are on track to do OK in college English.
The not so hot news is that in all other areas, and in English for black students, our kids’ average scores are still below the Benchmarks for adequate college preparation in the given subject.
The even less happy news is that, after four years of PLAN testing, our rate of progress is extremely slow.
I took a look at the change in PLAN scores between 2006-07 and 2009-2010. I used those changes to estimate how many more years we are going to need for our white and black students’ average scores to reach the PLAN Benchmarks in English, math, reading and science. This graph shows how that turned out.
Keep in mind, if our average score just matches the benchmark, that means half of our kids still score below that level. Thus, the times shown in the graph are not even close to the full amount of time needed at our current rate of progress to get the majority of our students ready for college work.
As I said, we need some serious jump-starting here. Hopefully, as Senate Bill 1 from 2009 and our new education standards come on line, we’ll get some of that badly needed push.