New Accountability Identification Will Invite Citizen Engagement

by | Sep 17, 2018 | Accountability, Ed., Featured, Regular Ed

By the end of September, the Kentucky Department of Education will identify:

  • About 50 schools for comprehensive support and improvement (CSI) based on the performance of all students
  • Close to half of all schools for targeted support and improvement (TSI) based on how specific student groups are doing

This new approach will challenge schools to seek deeper and stronger ways to build excellence with equity, and it will create a new opening for community participation in developing schools where all students can flourish.

Schools will be identified if they have results at or below newly identified cut scores on three different indicators, as shown below:

The cut scores will identify 5% of all schools for CSI based on the performance of all students and were approved earlier this month by the Kentucky Board of Education.

Under state and federal law, TSI then applies to schools with the same kind of results for student groups based on race or language, disability status, English learner status, or eligibility for free or reduced-price meals.

The state rules call for CSI schools to undergo an audit, develop a turnaround plan for the Commissioner’s approval, and receive support from a turnaround team. At TSI schools, state law specifies that “local school personnel, working with stakeholders, including the principal, other school leaders, teachers, and parents, shall revise its school improvement plan, which shall be subject to review and approval by the local board of education.”

For both identifications, these new rules open a new door for citizen engagement. Do watch for the identifications, and do consider being an active participant in exploring and tackling challenges at the schools identified near you. For example, you can:

  • ask questions to clarify the issues
  • suggest possible approaches based on what you have read or your lifetime experience
  • build local understanding of the strategies schools adopt
  • volunteer for a share of the hands-on work the strategies will require
  • advocate for the financial resources and the community commitment schools will need to move each and every student to new levels of excellence and equity
  • work steadily for schools that work for each and every child

The first CSI and TSI identifications are likely to be disruptive, especially when TSI turns a spotlight on schools that succeed for many students but have weaknesses for specific groups.  Those disruptions can be an opportunity for new levels of innovation and effort to strengthen all the students in Kentucky’s rising generation if communities pull together and citizens play strong roles in mobilizing shared responses.

For a wider overview of Kentucky’s new accountability system, check out the Prichard Committee’s  Education Flashcard presentations on the topic, now with separate versions for high schools and for elementary/middle schools.

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