Because there was no testing last academic school year, due to COVID-19, some key indicators of student achievement are left off the state’s school report card. Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) released the annual report card on Wednesday, along with a lengthy list of the measures not included this time.

Things not included in the statewide evaluation include accountability scores in proficiency, growth, and transition readiness, the status of the achievement gap, and school star ratings.

Jefferson County PTA member Autumn Neagle doesn’t wish to return to the report card Kentuckians came to expect prior to the pandemic. Neagle is against the testing and star ratings.

“So, while we may not have those metrics, we know our students. We can talk to them. But to sit and put a student, have them do a test and say this is a measure of your whole school year…I think that’s baloney. Kids learn different ways,” she says.

Details that are included in the report card, include the graduation rate. KDE boasts schools holding steady, a 90 percent four-year graduation rate. However, the rate drops to 83 percent for African American students.
There’s also data to show a snapshot of the makeup of the student body; the number of children considered to be economically disadvantaged (on free or reduced-price meals) greater than 60 percent. Also, there’s a big increase in English learners. Now, there are 34,000 students across the Commonwealth. The number of students with disabilities also appears to slightly increase.

Overall, Neagle says it’s time to turn from the ways of the old report card and discover a new, better way of recording student progress.

“I could go on and on about this, I think our children are more than just a number that the state report card sends out,” she says.

“Though there is limited data available, we hope this information will be useful to start conversations between schools, families, and community members about how to ensure all of our students are receiving a high-quality education,” said Kentucky Commissioner of Education Jason E. Glass. “We know there still is a lot of work to be done. The Kentucky Department of Education is here to work alongside our districts to provide the supports they need as they continue focusing on student achievement.”

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