Wednesday, March 3, 2010

How many years will it take to get Kentucky education where it needs to go?

The new PLAN scores for Kentucky's 10th grade students that released last week have a little good news and a lot of very cautionary news.

The good news is that our white students’ average score in English now exceeds the PLAN “Benchmark” score that represents good odds that the students will pass their first college course in English. That means a little over half of our high school students are on track to do OK in college English.

The not so hot news is that in all other areas, and in English for black students, our kids’ average scores are still below the Benchmarks for adequate college preparation in the given subject.

The even less happy news is that, after four years of PLAN testing, our rate of progress is extremely slow.

I took a look at the change in PLAN scores between 2006-07 and 2009-2010. I used those changes to estimate how many more years we are going to need for our white and black students' average scores to reach the PLAN Benchmarks in English, math, reading and science. This graph shows how that turned out.

Bluntly put, our schools need a serious jump start if we are going to get all of our PLAN averages up to the Benchmarks in a reasonable amount of time. The situation is critical for our black kids.

Keep in mind, if our average score just matches the benchmark, that means half of our kids still score below that level. Thus, the times shown in the graph are not even close to the full amount of time needed at our current rate of progress to get the majority of our students ready for college work.

As I said, we need some serious jump-starting here. Hopefully, as Senate Bill 1 from 2009 and our new education standards come on line, we’ll get some of that badly needed push.


Anonymous said...

I'd like to see someone from the education community or the KEA jump into this comment section and respond to the graph.

Commissioner Holliday, any comments as chief accountable person?

Other states are committing to initiatives that will make signifiant measurable progress in closing gaps within 2 years. Yes, 2 years. People are betting their jobs on it! But they are also getting relief from bureaucratic requirements and union rules.

Sounds like a good tradeoff and hope for the kids in other states.

Anonymous said...

Please send this to every legislator and Dr. Holliday!