How is Kentucky’s largest district doing? Here are seven major points about what can be seen in a look at selected data on Jefferson County and other districts. At the end, you can download short reports with additional data on each point
1. Jefferson County serves students with more racial diversity, somewhat more eligibility for free or reduced-price meals, and slightly lower levels of identified disabilities than the rest of Kentucky.
Jefferson County’s student body is more diverse than the rest of the state. Jefferson students are:
Jefferson’s student body is also:
2. Jefferson County has substantially greater revenue per pupil than the rest of Kentucky, raised heavily through local taxation that does not qualify for state equalization.
SEEK funding is Kentucky’s main way of funding schools by combining of local and state dollars.
For the current 2018 fiscal year, Jefferson is raising almost $7,300 per pupil locally and receiving about $2,900 in state equalization, yielding a SEEK total of more than $10,200 before looking at state and federal categorical funding earmarked for specific programs and services.
For comparison, a matching analysis of totals for the other 172 districts show local revenue of about $3,300, state revenue of about $4,300, and total SEEK funding just over $7,600 per pupil.
3. Jefferson County proficiency rates are low for historically underserved student groups, with small improvement trends.
To get the districtwide big picture clear, this analysis looked at average percent proficient/distinguished across 13 KPREP assessments: elementary, middle, and high school reading, mathematics, social studies and writing, plus high school science. That measure shows an average percent proficient/distinguished of:
4. Jefferson County has major achievement gaps that are not narrowing.
For 2017, the average percent proficient/distinguished shows Jefferson gaps of:
Since 2012, those gaps:
5. Statewide results are only slightly better for African American students and further ahead for students eligible for free or reduced price meals and with identified disabilities.
For 2017, Kentucky as a whole had average percent proficient/distinguished results of:
The 2017 results showed statewide gaps of:
Comparing 2012 to 2017 for the state as a whole, those gaps:
6. Looking at individual schools, Jefferson is polarized, with schools that score very high and others that score very low.
For example, 2017 high school results for all students range from a 17% average percent proficient/distinguished at Iroquois to 89% at DuPont Manual, with African American results ranging from 12% at Iroquois to 72% at Manual. This major spread matches national recognition of some Jefferson schools and past history of state identification of multiple Jefferson schools as priority or persistently low-achieving schools.
7. Data on student behavior and consequences shows Jefferson County African-American students being treated more harshly than other Jefferson students and more harshly than students in the rest of the state.
Jefferson County’s African American students are 5% of students statewide, but they were the focus of:
In Kentucky’s other districts, looked at together, African American students are also 5% of students statewide, and reported behavior events and consequences are also out of line with their numbers, but without rates above 20%.
These behavior and consequences statistics are not reported separately for students eligible for free or reduced price meals and students with identified disabilities.
Here is more detailed data on Jefferson County:
Since 1983, the Prichard Committee has worked to study priority issues, inform the public and policy makers about best practices and engage citizens, business leaders, families, students, and other stakeholders in a shared mission to move Kentucky to the top tier of all states for education excellence and equity for all children, from their earliest years through postsecondary education.