(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – Responding to questions raised by educators, Commissioner of Education Wayne Lewis has called for the creation of a group of key stakeholders from across the Commonwealth to review the state’s current growth calculation methodology and make recommendations for how to improve it before the release of school accountability data next fall.

The Growth Indicator Work Group will hold its first meeting 9 a.m.-4 p.m. ET Oct. 24 at the Hudson Hollow Office Building, 2 Hudson Hollow Road, Frankfort, in the Suite B Training Room.

The growth factor measures whether Kentucky students are on track to reach the goal of proficient in reading and mathematics. The growth factor is part of the new accountability system that was developed with input from Kentucky educators and residents in 2016 and 2017. It was approved by the Kentucky Board of Education in February 2018.

“The implementation of any new accountability system comes with questions and challenges,” Lewis said. “Across the state, most of the questions and concerns shared with the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) pertained to our methodology for calculating student growth.”

Specifically, KDE has received questions regarding the state’s methodology for calculating growth, whether the methodology used is appropriate, and how educators should interpret and use results from the growth indicator to inform and/or improve their practice, he said.

“I share some of the concerns voiced by educators,” Lewis said. “I would like our growth measure to be relatively easy to explain and understand, while also appropriate for school accountability purposes and informing of educators’ practice. I thank the members of this work group in advance for their willingness to tackle this issue, and I look forward to receiving their recommendations.”

The Growth Indicator Work Group has 15 members and includes superintendents, district assessment coordinators, principals, teachers and a data management specialist. The members include:

  • Mike Lafavers, Boyle County superintendent
  • Rob Fletcher, Lawrence County superintendent
  • Jerry Green, Pikeville Independent superintendent
  • Travis Hamby, Trigg County superintendent
  • Mike Borchers, Ludlow Independent superintendent
  • Jana Beth Francis, Daviess County district assessment coordinator
  • Teresa Nicholas, Pulaski County district assessment coordinator
  • Patrice Thompson, Paris Independent district assessment coordinator
  • David Meinschein, Ballard County district assessment coordinator
  • Jeff Stamper, Wolfe County district assessment coordinator
  • Florence Chang, Jefferson County data management specialist
  • Twanjua Jones, principal, Yates Elementary (Fayette County)
  • Lorri Stivers, principal, Shelby County West Middle
  • Nyree Clayton-Taylor, teacher at Wheatley Elementary (Jefferson County)
  • Barry Baird, teacher at Whitley County Middle School