Over the course of the last few months the newly proposed accountability system has continued to evolve with its most recent changes coming from the Statement of Consideration review at the December 5th state board meeting. Transition Readiness received some significant changes with the latest summary found here. The December DAC Webcast outlined additional changes and provided a PowerPoint. Since that time the department received its first round of feedback for their September submission from the federal review panel. A copy of Kentucky’s plan as originally submitted and the initial feedback letter are available through these links. See below for a listing of notable comments for improvement provided by the review panel.
- The KDE has four measures that comprise its Other Academic indicator: 1) growth in reading and math in elementary and middle school; 2) a separate other academic indicator for science and social studies at elementary, middle, and high school; 3) transition readiness at elementary, middle, and high school; and 4) achievement gap closure at elementary, middle, and high school. Three of those measures include high schools: science and social studies indicator, transition readiness, and achievement gap closure. However, the indicator required under ESEA section 1111(c)(4)(B)(ii) must be limited to elementary and secondary schools that are not high schools. A State may include these measures for high schools as School Quality or Student Success indicators.
- The ESEA requires a State to describe the weighting of each indicator in its system of annual meaningful differentiation, including that the Academic Achievement, Other Academic, Graduation Rate, and Progress in Achieving English Language Proficiency indicators each receive substantial weight individually; and that those indicators receive, in the aggregate, much greater weight than the School Quality or Student Success indicator(s), in the aggregate.
- While the KDE provides general information on the Academic Achievement indicator, the KDE does not provide sufficient information regarding how the indicator is calculated, including how stars are awarded. Additionally, the KDE describes the indicator as both proficiency and as a weighted index. Because the KDE has not provided sufficient information, it has not fully described the indicator.
- The KDE has not provided sufficient information to determine whether the SEA’s accountability system meets statutory requirements to meaningfully differentiate all public schools in the State and include the performance of all students and each subgroup of students on each of the indicators in the State’s accountability system.
- It is unclear whether the KDE intends to include performance on writing in the Academic Achievement indicator, which does not appear to be a test administered to meet the assessment requirements in ESEA section 1111(b)(2)(B)(v)(I) because it is only administered in grades five, eight, and eleven.
- While the KDE provides general information on what will comprise the growth in reading and math measure within the indicator, it does not provide sufficient information regarding how the measure within the indicator is calculated, including how its approach as outlined in its Growth Value Table, as used for all measures within the Other Academic Indicator, will ensure that a school’s performance on the indicator reflects each student’s performance, in order to determine whether the KDE meets the statutory requirements.
- Additionally, while the KDE provides general information on the transition readiness indicator, it does not provide sufficient information regarding how the measure within the indicator is calculated, including assessment scores used for this calculation, in order to determine whether the KDE meets the statutory requirements.
- Because the KDE does not describe how student-level progress will translate into a school-level indicator, it has not fully described the Progress in Achieving English Language Proficiency indicator.
- It is not clear in Kentucky’s plan that the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) will administer an end-of-course mathematics assessment in high school in 2017-2018 that it will use for Federal accountability purposes.
- The ESEA and its implementing regulations permit a State to exempt only an eighth-grade student who takes the high school mathematics course associated with the end-of-course assessment the State administers to high school students under ESEA section 1111(b)(2)(B)(v)(I)(bb) from the mathematics assessment the State typically administers in eighth grade under ESEA section 1111(b)(2)(B)(v)(I)(aa). It is not clear that KDE will limit the exception to eighth-grade students. Additionally, KDE does not indicate that the students to whom this exception applies must take a State-administered end-of-course or nationally recognized mathematics assessment that is more advanced when enrolled in high school.
- The KDE has stated that LEAs are not required to assess foreign exchange students or include them in accountability determinations. The ESEA requires that all students enrolled in the school when the assessments are administered be assessed on the statewide assessments and be included in the accountability system, unless the student has not attended the school for at least half a school year, consistent with the “partial attendance” rule in ESEA section 1111(c)(4)(F).
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