The Local Superintendents Advisory Council (LSAC) held a special meeting on Sept. 19 to review and approve the cut scores for Kentucky’s new accountability system that were recommended by a standard-setting committee.
Using data from the 2021-2022 school year, Kentucky’s accountability system will provide an overall color-coded rating for each school, district and the state ranging from red (lowest) to blue (highest). The color-coded rating, along with other important education data, will be available on the Kentucky School Report Card, which is set to be publicly released on Oct. 18.
The standard-setting committee gathered at the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) on Sept. 13-14 to set cut scores that define performance expectations for each indicator and the overall school rating. The cut scores determine how schools are reported in the online colored dashboard required by state law.
Facilitated by staff from the national Center for Assessment, the standard-setting group discussed performance level descriptions (PLDs), which are performance expectations for each color. PLDs were discussed for each indicator and overall school ratings and were used to help set the cut scores that fall into each of the colors.
The diverse panel was made up of 26 members, including teachers, principals, superintendents, parents, students, state board members and other education stakeholders.
“I want to publicly acknowledge and thank the Kentuckians who gave their time and input as part of this process, and on behalf of the Kentucky Department of Education, we’re deeply respectful of you and the outcomes you determined,” said Education Commissioner Jason E. Glass.
Brian Gong, senior associate at the Center for Assessment, said the panel also completed a written evaluation on the standard-setting process. More than 90% of respondents indicated their agreement or strong agreement that the indicator and overall cut score recommendations are appropriate and reasonable.
Lawrence County Superintendent Robbie Fletcher and Anderson County Superintendent Sheila Mitchell, who both participated in the standard-setting process, expressed concern with how many schools would fall within the yellow category when using the recommended cut scores. The yellow category falls in the middle of the new accountability scale. Mitchell also said she felt the discussion on indicator cut scores was cut short due to time constraints.
Fletcher and Mitchell did not approve the cut scores during the LSAC meeting, but both expressed their appreciation for KDE staff and standard-setting panelists for their work.
Harrison County Superintendent Harry Burchett approved the recommended cut scores but said he hopes LSAC would have more time to consider the scores in the future.
The LSAC approved the recommended cut scores by a vote of 9-2. They now will go to Glass for review and approval.