Wayne D. Lewis Jr. was named interim commissioner by the Kentucky Board of Education on April 17, 2018. The past year has been a whirlwind of action aimed at raising the bar for student learning and achievement and closing longstanding and even widening gaps between groups of Kentucky students.
This is the fifth of a six-part series detailing the work and achievements of the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) during the past year. To see the whole report, view this pdf.
ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM CHANGES
Senate Bill 1 (2017) and more recently SB 175 (2019) called for significant changes to Kentucky’s school accountability system. This means the department will use new definitions this fall to schools identified for Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) and Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI). Also, SB 175 allows college placement test results to be a measure of postsecondary or transition readiness at high school.
Throughout the 2019 session of the Kentucky General Assembly, Lewis and KDE staff worked closely with legislators and superintendents to revise definition of CSI and broaden the definition of transition readiness in a way that is fair to students and schools, while still maintaining the integrity of the measure.
Elementary and middle school indicators are based on proficiency in math and reading, academic indicators are based on proficiency in science, social studies and writing; and growth indicators are based on progress toward proficiency in reading and math and English attainment for English learners. Proficiency in reading and math and academic indicators in science, social studies and writing, also were defined as indicators for high schools, but transition readiness and graduation rates also were taken into consideration.
Following the release of the results of the 2018 K-PREP tests, as required by federal and state law, KDE identified 51 schools for CSI and 418 for TSI (as required by state statute). Following the release of 2017-2018 assessment scores, based on feedback from district and school stakeholders, the commissioner convened a workgroup of district superintendents, district assessment coordinators, principals and teachers to make recommendations for revising the system’s method for calculating student growth. The commissioner took the group’s recommendation to the Kentucky Board of Education, which adopted the revised growth calculation as a revision to the school accountability system.
Schools that were identified as CSI have undergone diagnostic reviews and are now being assisted by the department on next steps toward improvement. There are no state dollars available to assist in funding the turnaround process, however, available federal dollars will be made accessible to CSI schools through a competitive grant process.