A woman stands in front of a room full of people

A panel of education stakeholders has been meeting to finalize cut scores ahead of the release of the Kentucky School Report Card.
Photo by Toni Konz Tatman, June 22, 2023

(FRANKFORT, KY) – A panel of education stakeholders gathered in Frankfort Sept. 13-15 to participate in a standard-setting process for Kentucky’s accountability system.

Using data from the 2022-2023 school year, Kentucky’s accountability system will provide a color-coded overall performance rating for each school, district and the state by level, 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 expected to be publicly released in early November.

In Kentucky’s accountability system, schools are measured on a combination of academic and school-quality indicators and measures.

“Status” represents a school’s performance on a state indicator for the current year, while “change” represents the school’s performance on the indicator for the current year compared with the previous year. Status and change combine to provide an indicator performance rating color for each state indicator.

Senate Bill 158 (2020) made several changes to the statewide accountability system, including the establishment of “status” and “change” as ways to evaluate state indicators. This will be the first year where change is reported.

The overall performance rating color is based on an overall score that combines data from all available indicators. The overall score is used to determine the state’s lowest-performing schools by level, as required federally.

The diverse standard-setting committee included teachers, principals, superintendents, parents, a student, state board members and other education stakeholders.

“Because the state accountability system impacts all public schools, it was critical that the accountability committee be representative and include a variety of voices and perspectives,” said Rhonda Sims, associate commissioner in the Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE’s) Office of Assessment and Accountability. “Together, the members did exceptional work across the three-day meeting.”

Facilitated by staff from the Center for Assessment, the standard-setting committee reviewed performance-level descriptions, developed in June, which describe performance expectations for status and change levels for each state indicator and for the overall performance rating.

Using a multi-round process that included individual review and group discussion, the panelists used the performance-level descriptions and accountability data that isn’t connected to specific schools to establish recommended cut scores.

By unanimous vote, the standard-setting committee recommended cut scores that define performance expectations for status levels (very low through very high) and change levels (decreased significantly through increased significantly) for each state indicator and cut scores that will determine a school’s overall performance rating.

As required by KRS 158.6455, the recommended cut scores will need to be approved by the Kentucky Department of Education and the Local Superintendents Advisory Council (LSAC). The cut scores are expected to remain in place for six years, or until they no longer support meaningful differentiation.

The LSAC is set to review the recommended cut scores at its Oct. 10 meeting.