Education stakeholders met in Frankfort Aug. 23 to start a standard setting process that will help determine Kentucky’s new 5-star accountability system.

Education stakeholders met in Frankfort Aug. 23 to start a standard setting process that will help determine Kentucky’s new 5-star accountability system. The meetings will continue Sept. 4 and 5 at KDE’s Hudson Hollow office.
Photo by Jessica Fletcher, Aug. 23, 2019

(FRANKFORT, KY) – A group of education stakeholders and policymakers met Aug. 23 to start a standard setting process that will help determine Kentucky’s new 5-star accountability system. Two additional meetings will occur 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. ET Sept. 4 and 5 in Frankfort at the Hudson Hollow Office Building, 2 Hudson Hollow Road, Suite B, Training Room.

Using data from the 2018-2019 school year, Kentucky’s accountability system will provide an overall rating for each school, district and the state ranging from 1 (the lowest) to 5 (the highest) stars. The star rating, along with other important education data, will be available on the Kentucky School Report Card.

By the end of the process, the panel will recommend to Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis cut scores for an overall rating that combines all indicators in Kentucky’s accountability system. The panel also will recommend cut scores for each indicator to allow reporting of school performance ranging from very low to very high (i.e., very low, low, medium, high, very high) on each indicator.

Indicators contributing to how a school is classified for the 2018-2019 school year include:

  • Proficiency – based on student performance on tests in reading and mathematics
  • Separate Academic – based on student performance on tests in science, writing and social studies (included in high schools beginning in 2021)
  • Growth – (elementary and middle schools only) based on student growth toward proficiency on reading and mathematics tests; and English learners’ growth on an English proficiency exam
  • Graduation – (high schools only) the percentage of students who graduate within a specified period compared with the cohort of students who started high school the same year
  • Transition Readiness – (high school only) based on students earning a high school diploma and meeting either academic or career readiness as defined in Kentucky’s accountability system. This year’s data will include college admissions exam (ACT), a college placement exam, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Cambridge Advanced International, Kentucky Department of Education (KDE)-approved dual credit, industry certifications, career and technical education end-of-program assessments, KDE/Labor Cabinet-approved apprenticeship and verification of exceptional work experience. High school transition readiness also is based on English language learners’ attainment of English language proficiency.
  • Quality of School Climate and Safety – (coming in the 2019-2020 school year) based on student surveys.

The 5-star accountability system is designed to focus attention on the need to close achievement gaps. A school or district that would have been a 5- or 4-star will be reduced by 1 star if it has one or more statistically significant achievement gaps between the performances of groups of students.

On Aug. 23, panelists discussed performance level descriptions (PLDs) for each indicator individually and a school overall score that combines the indicators. These PLDs provide information about the expectations for each star rating and each indicator to give educators, teachers, families and students more information. The PLDS are similar to student performance level descriptors of Novice, Apprentice, Proficient and Distinguished in the statewide student testing system.

The PLDs crafted will be used to inform the decision of panelists during the standard setting on Sept. 4 and 5. Panelists will use the PLDs along with school and indicator data to set the cut scores for star (1 to 5) and indicator (very low to very high) ratings. Panelists will use actual school performance data to establish the recommended cut scores. However, no school names will be used and panelists will not be able to identify any schools.

Members of the committee bring a variety of educational experiences and expertise to the standard-setting process. Members of the committee include:

  • Hal Heiner, chair, Kentucky Board of Education
  • Gary Houchens, member, Kentucky Board of Education
  • Danny Adkins, superintendent, Floyd County schools
  • Paul Mullins, superintendent, Logan County schools
  • Marty Pollio, superintendent, Jefferson County schools
  • Diane Hatchett, superintendent, Berea Independent schools
  • Scott Hawkins, superintendent, Woodford County schools
  • Aaron Collins, superintendent, Fulton County schools
  • Teresa Nicholas, district assessment coordinator, Pulaski County schools
  • Amanda Reed, district assessment coordinator, LaRue County schools
  • Stephen Flatt, director of special education, Marshall County schools
  • Jerri Rowland, principal, Monroe County Area Technology Center
  • Susan Brashear, principal, Whitley Central Intermediate School
  • Amy Lingo, dean, College of Education, University of Louisville
  • Amy Razor, executive director, Northern Kentucky Cooperative for Educational Services
  • Rhonda Caldwell, executive director, Kentucky Association of School Administrators
  • Melissa Aguilar, executive director, Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board
  • Rhonda Harmon, executive director, KASC
  • Annissa Franklin, chief administrative officer, Urban League of Lexington
  • Sarah Davasher-Wisdom, chief operating officer, Greater Louisville Inc.
  • Penny Christian, parent, member of Kentucky PTA
  • Margo Bruce, teacher, Webster County High School
  • Amanda Underwood, teacher, Mason County Middle School

Brian Gong and Chris Domaleski of the Center for Assessment are facilitating the standard-setting process.