The Courier-Journal reports that new audits have been performed for six Jefferson County schools that were part of the first group of 10 schools in Kentucky to be declared “Persistently Low-Achieving Schools.”
The audits, which the Courier obtained through an open records request (Why? The audits are available to all on the Kentucky Department of Education’s web site as of April 20, 2012 [click here]), apparently determine there has been good progress in five of the six schools. However, auditors were not happy with performance at the sixth school, Valley High School. The Courier says that audit claims Valley’s principal Gary Hurt, should not remain in place.
Overall, it sounded encouraging. However, there is a very long way to go in these schools.
I took a look at the school-by-school summary at the end of the Courier’s article. The 2011 test scores listed there were not impressive, especially since they come from the inflated, and now disbanded, CATS Kentucky Core Content Tests in reading and mathematics.
So, I put this table together with the combined reading and math proficiency rate averages from 2010 and 2011 testing for the six schools in question. Progress varies from very good to very little.
More importantly, the 2011 combined reading and mathematics proficiency rates in the majority of these schools remains under 40 percent.
If you look at the Courier’s article, you will learn that in a number of cases the mathematics proficiency rate in these schools remains under 30 percent.
So, the jury is still out on whether the Persistently Low-Achieving Schools program is going to pan out where it counts – better student performance.
Keep in mind, the Persistently Low-Achieving Schools program only runs for three years in a given school. These first cohort schools have already been in the program for two years. That only leaves one more school term for the program to work. There is an awful lot left to accomplish in a very short amount of time.