KDE releases 2020-2021 School Report Card Data

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Graphic reading: KDE Releases 2020-2021 School Report Card Data

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) released annual School Report Card data on Sept. 29, as required by statute and under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Assessments were administered to Kentucky students during the spring of 2021, which was required by the U.S. Department of Education (USED). This is one strategy to better understand how students who tested performed academically amid a variety of COVID-19 learning disruptions. USED gave states flexibilities during the administration of assessments, such as expanded testing windows and shortened assessments.

“We knew these results would not be what we wanted to see, but the previous two school years saw extreme challenges,” said Education Commissioner Jason E. Glass. “We can use this information to address the gaps caused by COVID-19 disruptions and provide our students with the supports they need to be successful. This is one of a variety of tools our districts use on a regular basis to gauge where our students are.”

Since the COVID-19 pandemic affected many aspects of education in the 2020-2021 school year, KDE applied for and received a waiver from federal accountability. Therefore, school accountability indicators and ratings are not part of the 2020-2021 reporting. Since no data was reported for assessment and accountability in the 2019-2020 school year, certain trends and comparisons are not reported in the School Report Card.

Kentucky’s School Report Card is divided into Key Topic Areas. Highlights include:

Academic Performance/Assessment Results
Kentucky administers state tests called the Kentucky Summative Assessment (KSA), previously called the Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP). The tests were developed by Kentucky teachers and align with the Kentucky Academic Standards. Spring 2021 testing, for the first time, was based on all new standards.

Due to COVID-19, students faced learning disruptions, changes in the opportunities to learn, lower participation rates and a shortened assessment in 2021. Because of these challenges, you cannot make direct comparisons of assessment data from prior years.

In spring 2021, more than 329,000 students were tested. The overall participation rate for each content area per grade span is listed in the table below.

Student Participation Rate Percentage – Spring 2021

LevelReadingMathematicsScienceWriting On-Demand
Elementary School88.988.988.987.8
Middle School84.183.983.682.2
High School76.475.973.372.4

Despite extremely challenging circumstances, assessment results show that at every grade level, many participating students still performed at a proficient/distinguished level in most subjects.

Spring 2021 Elementary Performance Levels Percentage for All Students

Subject Novice ApprenticeProficientDistinguishedProficient/Distinguished
Reading34.825.826.213.339.5
Mathematics30.438.221.99.531.4
Science17.058.021.83.325.1
Writing On-demand15.644.630.98.939.8

Spring 2021 Middle School Performance Levels Percentage for All Students

Subject Novice Apprentice Proficient Distinguished Proficient/Distinguished
Reading31.424.627.116.944.0
Mathematics30.741.520.57.327.8
Science34.544.718.02.820.9
Writing On-demand16.332.836.814.150.9

Spring 2021 High School Performance Levels Percentage for All Students

Subject Novice Apprentice Proficient Distinguished Proficient/Distinguished
Reading34.827.325.412.437.9
Mathematics35.933.824.45.830.3
Science30.642.922.83.726.5
Writing On-demand12.430.435.022.357.2

All Kentucky public school juniors participate in the ACT, which tests students in English, mathematics, reading and science and is scored on a scale of 1 to 36. Caution should be used when interpreting trends since 2019 due to the impact COVID-19 had on instruction.

ACT Subject Area Scores Kentucky Public School Juniors

Student GroupsEnglishMathematicsReadingScienceCompositeTotal Tested
All Students 17.117.718.518.318.042,078

While there was a slight decrease in the overall graduation rate, Kentucky saw a slight increase in the graduation rate among African American students.

“It is good to see this improvement in the graduation rate among Kentucky’s African American students,” said Thomas Woods-Tucker, KDE deputy commissioner and chief equity officer. “KDE is dedicated to closing more gaps among student groups by helping districts use evidence-based strategies to increase equity.”

2021 4-Year Graduation Rate Disaggregated by Student Group

Student Groups120172018201920202021
All Students89.790.390.691.190.0
White91.291.992.192.891.4
African American81.682.083.283.383.7
Hispanic or Latino84.283.184.184.483.4
Asian92.895.094.194.395.1
American Indian or Alaska Native76.788.793.390.280.3
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander76.284.688.187.587.7
Two or More Races87.088.088.689.189.9
English Learners Plus Monitored77.178.276.676.2
Economically Disadvantaged87.087.787.888.186.6
Disability-With IEP (Total)74.474.875.578.077.9
1 Students can be identified for multiple student groups.

All assessment result data, including result data broken down by test subject and student demographic, can be viewed in the 2020-2021 Kentucky School Report Card.

Opportunity to Learn Survey
All students in tested grades participate in the Quality of School Climate and Safety survey, one form given to grades 3 through 5 and another form given to grades 6 through high school. An Opportunity to Learn survey was added for the 2020-2021 school year, which contains seven survey items on each form. The survey was designed to capture students’ perceptions of their educational circumstances during the 2020-2021 school year.

The results from the Opportunity to Learn survey show evidence that despite the unfortunate circumstances created by COVID-19, most students viewed their virtual learning as a positive experience. Due to the extraordinary efforts Kentucky’s teachers and district staff, overall, Kentucky’s students felt supported throughout the school year.

In one survey item, students were asked if they agree or disagree with the statement: “When my school building was closed because of COVID-19, I was able to work with my teacher and classmates online.” Of the students answering the survey, 90.2% of elementary students, 80.5% of middle school students and 77.6% of high school students said they either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement.

Question: “When my school building was closed because of COVID-19, I was able to work with my teacher and classmates online.”

LevelResponse Rate of ParticipantsPercent Strongly DisagreePercent DisagreePercent AgreePercent Strongly AgreePercent Agree/ Strongly Agree
Elementary School99.63.16.637.952.390.3
Middle School99.86.712.851.728.880.5
High School99.88.114.358.219.477.6

Another survey item asked students to agree or disagree with the statement: “My teachers were available when I needed help (such as through virtual office hours, email, chat).” Of the students answering the survey, 91.5% of elementary students, 87.7% of middle school students and 84.1% of high school students said they either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement.

Question: “My teachers were available when I needed help (such as through virtual office hours, email, chat).”

LevelResponse Rate of ParticipantsPercent Strongly DisagreePercent DisagreePercent AgreePercent Strongly AgreePercent Agree/ Strongly Agree
Elementary School99.51.86.644.646.991.5
Middle School99.72.79.658.429.387.7
High School99.74.311.564.419.784.2

Another survey item asked students to agree or disagree with the statement: “My schoolwork helped me learn new things this year.” Of the students answering the survey, 95.1% of elementary students, 80% of middle school students and 61.8% of high school students said they either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement.

Question: “My schoolwork helped me learn new things this year.”

LevelResponse Rate of ParticipantsPercent Strongly DisagreePercent DisagreePercent AgreePercent Strongly AgreePercent Agree/ Strongly Agree
Elementary School99.71.53.336.159.095.1
Middle School99.86.613.454.925.180.0
High School99.815.622.751.110.761.7

The Quality of School Climate and Safety survey items, including all Opportunity to Learn survey items, can be found on Open House under the Learning Environment tab.

New to SRC
Kentucky’s School Report Card also contain several new sets of data.

The Advanced Coursework section now includes participation rates of students enrolled in advanced placement (AP) courses. Currently 27% of students are participating in AP courses.

Another new feature on the School Report Card allows data sets to be downloaded at the data level, as well as be conveniently located in one place on the dataset page.

The Transition to Adult Life section now includes information on the number of students that transitioned from a Kentucky public school to an in-state postsecondary institution. This information can be found under the Transition to In-State Postsecondary Education tab.

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