October 1, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact:
Brigitte Blom Ramsey, Executive Director
Results Show Strong Growth in College and Career Readiness;
Urgent Call to Action to Close Achievement Gaps
LEXINGTON, KY-The accountability results released this morning show strong growth in the college and career readiness of Kentucky’s high school graduates, moving from 62.5% to 66.8% of graduates reaching those benchmarks. This good news is coupled with the fact that scores for high school students in groups who have historically struggled to meet state standards have improved at a quicker pace than the achievement results for all students. These indicators are positive news for Kentucky’s students and our shared future.
However, the decline in overall scores for elementary and middle school is cause for immediate concern and focused attention. Student outcomes in the early grades must continue to improve as they lay the essential foundation for later success. As a combined group, African-American, low-income, Hispanic, English learners, and students with disabilities also lost ground at the elementary and middle school levels, showing that we need to deepen our focus on providing richer opportunities for each and every child.
In addition, this year’s results fell short of some of the goals Kentucky set for educational improvement. Our statewide elementary and middle school results are below the goals set by the Kentucky Board of Education. While the high school outcomes met these goals and college and career readiness continues to increase, it is important that we recognize the weaknesses in other areas and actively build more consistent year-over-year improvement going forward.
The Prichard Committee plans further study of these results and urges all Kentuckians to renew our focus on making sure all students learn deeply, thrive, achieve, and contribute to our communities. The Committee’s Achievement Gap Study Group, representing participants from across the state, is working this fall to identify the most important next steps to support each and every Kentucky child’s growth and achievement. We applaud the Kentucky Department of Education for recognizing the moral imperative of ensuring all students achieve at high levels. It is clear that we have urgent work ahead.
The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence is an independent, non-partisan citizens’ advocacy group. Since 1983, the Committee, made up of volunteer parents and citizens from across Kentucky, has worked tirelessly to improve education for Kentuckians of all ages.