As I blogged earlier, Kentucky’s new test scores are out. However, the state’s Unbridled Learning accountability system is dead, so this year, as the Kentucky Enquirer’s Hannah Sparling laments:
“There are no state rankings or overall scores – the numbers that used to rank schools from best to worst.
There are no labels marking schools as Distinguished, Proficient or Needs Improvement.”
The Enquirer points out that this makes it tough for parents to figure out how their school is doing.
Still, test scores, graduation rates and some other data are available, and the Enquirer echoes comments we mentioned in our earlier blog that the picture doesn’t look so good.
For example, the Enquirer quotes Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt admitting:
“Math is a mess across the state and across the country, so what are we going to do differently with math going forward?”
So even the commissioner admits that math, a major part of Common Core, is in trouble both here in Kentucky, which has the most experience with these standards, and around the nation, as well. Considering that Kentucky has more experience with Common Core (state Common Core-aligned math and reading testing began in the 2011-12 school year), that should give pause to even the most enthusiastic member of the dwindling Common Core cheerleaders.
The new data cover more than math. The Enquirer also correctly reports that “Kentucky’s college and career readiness score dropped, from 68.5 percent this past year to 65.1 percent this year.” I’ll have more to say about these data shortly, but a decay in readiness is a serious trip up for Common Core, which promised to increase readiness.
Returning to the Enquirer’s main theme about parent confusion due to the lack of accountability scores, the paper quotes Jay Brewer, Dayton Independent Schools Superintendent saying:
“People like to compare schools, and at this point, there really isn’t that information available.”
What are parents supposed to do? The Enquirer says state education folks are hoping that parents will dig into the school report cards for more detailed data. Well, having taught a few parents about how get into the report cards, I don’t think many parents will take the time to learn how.
So, stay tuned here. We have a lot more to cover, and you won’t have to dig through a fairly extensive, but commensurately somewhat complex, online system to get that.