Kentucky announces new Persistently Low-Achieving Schools list

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) just announced the addition of 19 more schools to its listing of Persistently Low-Achieving Schools (PLAs).

Basically, these schools performed in the bottom five percent of all schools in the state not previously identified as PLAs. The PLAs evaluation is based on recent math and reading performance from the Kentucky Core Content Tests as of 2011. The schools, listed by the change in their combined average math and reading proficiency rate between 2010 and 2011, are listed below.

NOTES to Table:

Data in white from Kentucky Department of Education News Release 11-089.

Scoring data in yellow shaded cells calculated by Innes from the scoring data in the KDE’s 2011 testing gap-to-goal district Excel spreadsheet.

Trend calculations by Innes.

Several things are worth highlighting:

• Note that the majority of the PLAs, 13 of 19, actually saw a decline in their already low proficiency rates between 2010 and 2011. Not shown here (maybe a future blog) – and a hopeful sign that the PLAs program works – all of the 22 PLAs that were identified from 2010 and 2009 testing data showed an increasing trend in performance between 2010 and 2011.

• Once again, Jefferson County adds a notable number of new PLAs to its already extensive listing. Out of 41 schools now included in the PLAs listing, 18 – that’s 44 percent – are found in this one school district which serves less than 15 percent of the state’s students, according to school membership data from the 2010-2011 Growth Factor Report from KDE.

• Note that the breakout of Title I funded and non-Title I funded schools is about equal. This is a rough estimator for student poverty. What is remarkable is that some of the schools, like the Perry County High School, are non-Title I schools yet still post some dramatically poor performances.

• Perry County Central High School’s performance trend is particularly poor. The drop in its combined proficiency rate is more than double the next worst school’s drop.

I may have more to say about the last bullet, so stay tuned.


  1. […] Kentucky Department of Education released the most recent list of ‘Persistently Low Achieving Schools‘ (PLAs) last week. As part of our 2011 Open Record Project, requests were submitted to obtain […]