Kentucky’s New Accountability System: A Q-and-A Overview

by | Jun 20, 2018 | Accountability, Ed., Featured, Regular Ed

1. How will elementary and middle school accountability work?

Here’s an organizer showing the full system, combining varied data to calculate seven Indicators and set an Overall Rating for each school.

2. Where will the data come from?

Here are the basics on each type of data shown in the overview:

  • Reading & Math Scores will be KPREP results, with partial credit for apprentice results, full credit for proficient, and extra credit for distinguished
  • Science, Social Studies & Writing Scores will work the same way.
  • Reading & Math Growth will reflect how each student’s KPREP performance level has changed from last year
  • English Language Proficiency (ELP) Growth will reflect how each English learner’s WIDA change from last year
  • Composite Scores for fifth and eighth grade students will combine students’ most recent KPREP results for all subjects
  • Gap to Group Change will show student groups’ KPREP progress towards matching their classmates
  • Gap to Target Change will show student groups’ KPREP progress toward meeting goals for all students
  • Rich Curriculum will look at student access to visual and performing arts, health and physical education, science, and social studies
  • School Quality will reflect lack of chronic absenteeism, behavior events, and physical restraint and seclusion
  • Equitable Access will compare student groups’ participation in gifted and talented services
3. How will the Indicators be rated and shared?

The data described above will be used to calculate seven indicators, and on each indicator, schools will get one of five ratings: very low, low, medium, high, or very high. Those ratings will appear on a new dashboard display designed to give a clear first look at each school’s strengths and challenges.

As shown in the earlier chart, the elementary and middle indicators will be Proficiency, Separate Academic, Growth, English Language Proficiency Growth, Transition Readiness, Achievement Gap Closure, and Opportunity & Access.

4. How will the Overall Ratings be determined?

A school’s eligibility for each of the possible five stars will depend on its Indicator ratings. A matrix chart will show the combinations that can lead to each number of stars.

A school will be limited to a maximum of three stars if it has:

  • A low or very low Achievement Gap Closure rating OR
  • Results for any group that qualify for targeted support OR
  • A statistically significant achievement gap for any group

Do note that Indicators will not be combined into a single number used to compare and rank all schools.

5. How will schools be identified for support and improvement?

Comprehensive support and improvement will be the category for schools with results in the lowest performing 5% of schools at their level, based on all the indicators.

Targeted support and improvement will be the category for schools where a student group has performance like the lowest performing 5% of schools for one year. Targeted support and improvement will also apply for schools where a student group has performance like the lowest performing 10% of schools for two years. Targeted support decisions will be based on all indicators except English Language Proficiency Growth.

6. What will be the long-term goals for students and schools?

The Kentucky Board of Education has approved an ambitious approach to setting goals for 2030, calling for Kentucky schools to move all students and each student group halfway to 100% proficiency in all subjects, cutting achievement gaps in half.

7. How is concern for equity embedded in this system?

The equity features really are built into the whole system, so each has been mentioned above, but here’s a graphic that shows those elements together.

8. What reporting will we see in the fall of 2018?

The full system will debut in 2019, but the first four elementary and middle school indicators will be reported in the fall of 2018. We’ll see Proficiency, Separate Academic, Growth, and English Language Proficiency Growth, reported with full data and with ratings from very low to very high.

9. Which school identifications will we see in the fall of 2018?

Schools will be identified for comprehensive school support and for the first kind of targeted support (for student group results like the lowest 5% of schools for one year). Targeted support based on group results like the lowest 5% for two years will begin in 2019.

10. How will the high school system be different?

The answers above have discussed the plan for elementary and middle schools. High schools will also have seven Indicators that lead to Overall Ratings from one to five stars, with the following key changes:

  • High school data will include graduation data, academic readiness data, and technical readiness data, but not include growth data and a composite score combining all subjects
  • High school Indicators for 2019 will include a Graduation Indicator but not include a Growth Indicator
  • High school comprehensive support and improvement can be based on graduation rates below 80% as well as low performance on other indicators.
  • High schools’ 2030 goals will include cutting the percent of students not graduating in half for all students and for each student group, as well as goals for other results.


Check out the full visual layout of the new accountability system in our Education FlashCards series here:

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