But, one piece of ACT test data is available, and it isn’t pretty
The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) released the 2019-2020 Kentucky School Report Cards for each school in the state, but I don’t think you are going to learn a lot from them.
For starters, since KPREP testing was cancelled last spring, there are no scores to report and there is no accountability rating for any school as a consequence.
Aside from missing KPREP scores, so far there are no ACT results from 11th grade testing, either. The COVID-19 hit right in the middle of ACT testing last spring, and some students didn’t get to take the tests before their schools shut down in-person classes. Those students who missed testing are currently going to make that up this fall, but it is uncertain how this delay might impact our ability to make valid comparisons to previous years of Grade 11 ACT results.
About the only scores that are available are from the Kindergarten screener tests, which were given in the fall of 2019 before COVID-19 hit, but those tests are mostly a measure of pre-Kindergarten activities rather than any reflection on the K to 12 school system.
There has been achievement gap information in the past for both KPREP and ACT, but right now none of that is available, and the KPREP gap information for 2019-20 will never be available, either.
The school financial transparency data isn’t up yet, either. I don’t expect that until late in the 2020-21 school term, at best. And, given problems I’ve found in the 2019-20 financial transparency data, it remains to be seen if the data is even going to be credible (more on the problems with the 2019-20 data is coming soon, so stay tuned).
So, overall, the 2020 school report cards, at least for now, won’t tell you much. The real heart of the data, such as most test results, achievement gap data, and accountability ratings just don’t exist now, and a lot of that will never appear later, either.
Quite separate from the report cards, the ACT, Inc. released a little information today about the ACT test results for the high school graduates of 2020. This data includes overall average scores for all Kentucky public and private school students averaged together.
The new ACT picture isn’t pretty. Kentucky’s overall average ACT Composite Score for all students public and private dropped from 19.8 in 2019 to 19.5 for the Class of 2020. That probably isn’t due to COVID-19, by the way, because most seniors in the Class of 2020 would have taken their last ACT tests before the virus shut down schools around March of 2020.
In fact, as you can see in this table, Kentucky’s overall ACT performance has been in decline for a while. And, the 2020 Composite is lower than any previous score since 2013, the first year that ACT started primary reporting for an overall average score for students who took the test with standard time limits and those who got extra time due to learning disabilities.
None of this was caused by COVID-19.
For Sources and Technical Details for scores to 2019, See: “ACT for Kentucky’s public and non-public school students over the years”
For the 2020 data, see Kentucky Department of Education Advisory 20-317.
Find the 2020 Kentucky School Report Cards here.
Read more details about what isn’t in the 2020 Kentucky School Report Cards here.