Ten Kentucky public schools have been recognized for the teaching conditions, school safety and student achievement in their buildings.

The ten were selected based on data from the Teaching, Educating, Leading and Learning (TELL) Kentucky Survey, which was administered to all public school teachers and principals in March of this year.

During the Continuous Improvement Summit in Louisville this week, each school received a certificate and a 4’ x 6’ banner. Schools recognized as being in the Winner’s Circle of working conditions and student achievement are:

  • Cuba Elementary School (Graves County)
  • Murray High School (Murray Independent)
  • McLean Middle School (McLean County)
  • Cub Run Elementary School (Hart County)
  • Corbin Middle School (Corbin Independent)
  • Carter Traditional Elementary School (Jefferson County)
  • Elkhorn Crossing School (Scott County)
  • Conner Middle School (Boone County)
  • Boone County Area Technology Center
  • West Liberty Elementary School (Morgan County)

The ten were selected in a four-phase process. In Phase I, schools that reached the minimum 50 percent survey response rate threshold were identified. In Phase II, student test scores from the 2011-12 school year were analyzed, and a cut-off point was set to ensure that successful schools continued to the next phase of selection. In Phase III, schools were examined for details regarding their TELL Kentucky results, as well as other criteria (such as school safety), using a rubric designed by the New Teacher Center and the TELL Kentucky Advisory Team. Phase IV schools met all of the minimum criteria for selection, and the Advisory Team reviewed these to select 50 exemplary schools across the state.

From the 50 Honorable Mentions, one school in each of Kentucky’s State Board/Judicial Districts, two at-large schools and one area technology center were awarded the Winners’ Circle honors. Winning schools and Honorable Mentions will be used as examples of best practices for other schools across the state.

In March 2013, Gov. Steve Beshear and Education Commissioner Terry Holliday provided the opportunity for educators to share information about the conditions in their schools and the supports needed to do their jobs well. The TELL Kentucky Survey was administered by the New Teacher Center, a national non-profit dedicated to improving student learning by accelerating the effectiveness of teachers and school leaders.

Nearly 44,000 – 87 percent – of those who qualified to take the school teaching and learning conditions survey completed it, surpassing the 2011 response rate of 80 percent.  Of the 1,441 schools in Kentucky, 1,296 schools met the minimum response threshold (at least 50 percent response and a minimum of 5 respondents) for data to be made available.

The intent of this work is to provide schools, districts and the state with data that can be used to enhance school improvement efforts. The Kentucky Board of Education has used the results of the 2011 TELL Kentucky Survey in policy discussions. The Kentucky Department of Education is using the findings to guide its assistance to persistently low-achieving schools and in the work with improving effective teachers and leaders.