Update 9-5-18

Number 18-132                                              Sept. 5, 2018

MEDIA CONTACT: Jessica Fletcher

Office: (502) 564-2000, ext. 4611 | Cell: (502) 229-1915 | E-mail: [email protected]


(Frankfort, KY) – The Kentucky Board of Education approved school performance levels for 2018 federal and state accountability during a special meeting in Frankfort today.

By law, the state must identify schools for Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) – those in the bottom 5 percent at each level (elementary, middle, and high school) or high schools with a 4-year graduation rate of less than 80 percent – and schools for Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) – those with any student group performing as low as CSI schools.

For fall 2018 reporting, schools will be identified based on their performance on three indicators.

Last month, a group of education stakeholders and policymakers evaluated school performance data from the 2017-2018 school year, considered the relative weight ranges for each indicator established by the Kentucky Board of Education, and made a recommendation on the threshold cutscores for each indicator. Interim
Commissioner of Education Wayne Lewis made a slight modification to that in his recommendation, which the board approved today. Not all indicator scores are based on a 100-point scale.


School Level Indicator CSI Cutscore
Elementary Proficiency (reading and math scores) 60.5
Separate Academic Indicator (science, social studies and
writing scores)
Growth (progress toward proficiency in reading and
math; English attainment for English learners)
Middle Proficiency (reading and math scores) 62
Separate Academic Indicator (science, social studies and
writing scores)
Growth (progress toward proficiency in reading and
math; English attainment for English learners)
High Proficiency (reading and math scores) 40
Separate Academic Indicator (science, social studies and
writing scores)
Growth (progress toward proficiency in reading and
math; English attainment for English learners)


A school in the bottom 5 percent that falls below the recommended score on every indicator for its grade range will be designated CSI. The CSI threshold cutscores will be applied to identify schools for TSI. All remaining schools will be identified as “Other” for fall 2018 accountability reporting.

Based on preliminary data and the approved cutscores, 50 schools would be designated for CSI based on the federal requirement to identify the bottom 5 percent of Title I schools; about 45-50 percent of all schools would be designated for TSI.

“To be clear, a school’s designation as TSI does not mean the school is failing or a low-performing school,” Lewis said. “It does mean that work remains to be done with raising the achievement levels for all groups of students, and it makes reducing the disparities between the performance of student groups a top priority.”

All CSI and TSI schools will be required to develop improvement plans and will be provided additional support. Support will be tiered, based on the designation, the needs of the school and the capacity of the department.

“There are many things the legislature funded this year that I appreciate, but one terrible oversight was eliminating the School Improvement Fund and that, in and of itself, hamstrings this department,” board member Gary Houchens said. “It is something that needs to be addressed in future state budgets to make sure if we are
going to say we value education and we want to turn around these low performing schools, resources are in place to do that.”

The names of the schools and their accountability designations and associated data will be released later this month once data are verified through the final quality control process.


High School Graduation Requirements
The board also discussed changing minimum high school graduation requirements. Under the proposal that first came before the board in August, students would need to complete a minimum of 22 credits including:

  • English I and II AND two additional English language arts credits aligned with the student’s Individual Learning Plan
  • Algebra I and Geometry AND two additional mathematics credits aligned with the student’s ILP
  • 3 credits social studies (at least 1 aligned with the student’s ILP)
  • 3 credits science (at least 1 aligned with the student’s ILP)
  • 1 credit visual and performing arts
  • 1⁄2 credit physical education
  • 1⁄2 credit health
  • 6 additional credits aligned with the student’s ILP

Students also would have to demonstrate proficiency in reading and mathematics, pass a civics exam, receive instruction in financial literacy, demonstrate competency in essential skills and technology, and demonstrate academic or career readiness as defined in the state’s accountability system.

Despite dropping a requirement for all students to take Algebra II, Lewis says the state is not lowering the bar for students to get a high school diploma.

“What we are proposing is raising the bar higher than it’s ever been in this state,” Lewis said. “We are eliminating the days when we are saying one thing, but the reality is something completely different. Kids were graduating having passed Algebra II, but without the skills to perform basic math. When we grant a high school diploma to a student in Kentucky, regardless of where he or she graduates from, we’re going to have some basic assurances about what that kids’ skill levels
are and that he or she is prepared to be successful in that next step.”

“I am so thrilled that the high school diploma is finally going to mean something,” board member Kathy Gornik said. “This is the best gift we could give to the students of Kentucky.”

The board is scheduled to vote on new high school graduation requirements at its meeting in October. If approved, the new requirements would take effect for the freshman class entering high school in fall 2019.

Board Committees

Materials from today’s meeting are available on the board’s meeting portal.

The next regular Kentucky Board of Education meeting is scheduled for October 2-3 in Frankfort.

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