State accountability scores reveal some local schools improving

Amelia Holliday — Staff Reporter

September 27, 2013

HAZARD—Accountability scores for Kentucky schools released Friday by the state department of education show improvement in many of the schools in the county — including those ranked among the lowest in the state last year.

The accountability scores are part of Kentucky’s School Report Card started in 2010. Schools and districts earn points on a scale from 0 to 100 based on how well they perform on five different components of the accountability system: achievement, gap, growth, college/career readiness, and graduation rate.

“The statewide data clearly show we are making progress, though slower than we would like,” Education Commissioner Terry Holliday said, adding that students’ scores have improved across the board since 2012.

“In just three years we’ve gone from only a third of our students being ready for college and career to more than half,” Holliday said. “That’s around 8,000 students who now have a much better shot at getting a good job, paying taxes, and becoming self-sufficient Kentuckians.”

The state district average score increased from the 2011-2012 school year by 2.1 points, going from 55.2 to 57.3.

For the second year in a row, the Perry County School District failed to meet the statewide average this year, falling short at 53.1. This, though, is a marked improvement from the 2011-2012 school year when the district’s score was 46.2, putting them in the eighth percentile in the state; the district now sits in the 37th percentile, but is still classified as “needs improvement.”

The Hazard Independent School District improved slightly from last year, going from a score of 58.4 to 59.5 and jumping from the 71st to the 81st percentile. The district is classified as “proficient/progressing.”

Those schools and districts falling below the 70th percentile are classified as “needs improvement,” according to the Kentucky Department of Education. Those between the 70th and 89th percentile classify as “proficient,” and those at or above the 90th are considered “distinguished.”

In 2011, Perry County Central was listed as a persistently low-achieving school. For this reason an educational recovery plan and support team were put in place at the school to help make improvements. In the 2011-2012 school year, Perry Central scored 41.3 overall, putting it in the fifth percentile. This year the school scored 55.3 and leaped to the 55th percentile. The school also improved in college/career readiness, going from a score of 25.7 last year to 55.4 this year.

“We are proud of the dedication of our teachers, principals, and staff for their work to improve the quality of education for every child,” Superintendent Jonathan Jett said. “This achievement reaches wider than just the school community; it extends throughout the entire county, including all stakeholders, parents, businesses, and media.”

Buckhorn High School improved from 46.4 last year to 50.8, leaving it in the 19th percentile. The average score for middle and elementary schools in the district was 51.8, with the vast majority of those schools being classified as “needs improvement.”

“In many of our schools, only minor adjustments are necessary, while in others we will implement more aggressive changes,” Jett said.

In more than half of the schools in the Perry County district, improvement was not seen in all scores. Leatherwood Elementary showed a decline in both elementary and middle school scores, going from 57.1 last year for the elementary grades to 52.4 and dropping to the 31st percentile. The score for the middle school grades at Leatherwood fell almost 10 points — from 61.5 to 50.7 — dropping them from the 81st percentile to the 37th.

Elementary and middle school scores also fell for Buckhorn School, and elementary scores fell in R. W. Combs Elementary, Robinson Elementary, and A.B. Combs Elementary.

“We will learn from the schools that are succeeding in specific areas and note the characteristics of highly effective teaching and learning practices and share those best practices across schools so that all students can succeed,” Jett said.

Chavies Elementary, which was scored as one of the lowest schools in the state last year, ranking in the bottom one percentile, vastly improved its scores. The school scored in the ninth percentile and improved its overall score from 20.8 to 44.5 for the elementary grades, and from the fourth to the 18th percentile in the middle grades, improving its score from 37.4 to 53.8.

Hazard High School improved its score, as well, increasing from 59.4 to 60.4 and moving into the 78th percentile. Roy G. Eversole Elementary School improved from 58.7 to 61.4, jumping from the 55th percentile to the 65th; Hazard Middle School improved slightly from 58.4 to 58.8, moving up to the 70th percentile from the 68th.

The following overall accountability scores were released Friday morning for schools in the Perry County and Hazard school districts:

Hazard High School

High School 2012-2013: 60.4; Proficient/Progessing

High School 2011-2012: 59.4; Proficient

Hazard Middle School

Middle School 2012-13: 58.8; Proficient

Middle School 2011-12: 58.4; Needs Improvement

Roy G. Eversole Elementary School

Elementary 2012-2013: 61.4; Needs Improvement/Progressing

Elementary 2011-2012: 58.7; Needs Improvement

A.B. Combs Elementary

Elementary, 2012-2013: 49.9; Needs Improvement

Elementary, 2011-2012: 52.7; Needs Improvement

Middle School, 2012-13: 52.2; Needs Improvement/Progressing

Middle School 2011-12: 45.9; Needs Improvement

Big Creek Elementary

Elementary, 2012-2013: 62.7; Proficient/Progressing

Elementary, 2011-2012: 52.3; Needs Improvement

Middle School, 2012-13: 50.9; Needs Improvement

Middle School, 2011-12: 52.1; Needs Improvement

Buckhorn School

Elementary, 2012-2013: 49.3; Needs Improvement

Elementary, 2011-2012: 49.8; Needs Improvement

Middle School, 2012-13: 42.5; Needs Improvement

Middle School, 2011-12: 43.9; Needs Improvement

High School, 2012-2013: 50.8; Needs Improvement/Progressing

High School, 2011-2012: 46.4; Needs Improvement

Chavies Elementary

Elementary 2012-2013: 44.5; Needs Improvement/Progressing

Elementary 2011-2012: 20.8; Needs Improvement

Middle School 2012-13: 53.8; Needs Improvement/ Progressing

Middle School 2011-12: 37.4; Needs Improvement

Dennis Wooton Elementary

Elementary 2012-2013: 68.4; Proficient/Progressing

Elementary 2011-2012: 67.3; Proficient

Leatherwood Elementary

Elementary 2012-2013: 52.4; Needs Improvement

Elementary 2011-2012: 57.1; Needs Improvement

Middle School 2012-13: 50.7; Needs Improvement

Middle School 2011-12: 61.5; Proficient

Perry County Central High School

High School 2012-2013: 55.3; Needs Improvement

High School 2011-2012: 41.3; Needs Improvement

R.W. Combs Elementary

Elementary 2012-2013: 39.6; Needs Improvement

Elementary 2011-2012: 53.4; Needs Improvement

Middle School 2012-13: 52.4; Needs Imp./Progressing

Middle School 2011-12: 44.5; Needs Improvement

Robinson Elementary

Elementary 2012-2013: 53.8; Needs Improvement

Elementary 2011-2012: 55.5; Needs Improvement

Middle School 2012-13: 61.8; Proficient/Progressing

Middle School 2011-12: 59.4; Proficient

Viper Elementary

Elementary 2012-2013: 46.9; Needs Improvement

Elementary 2011-2012: 46.2; Needs Improvement

Middle School 2012-13: 53.5; Needs Improvement/Progressing

Middle School 2011-12: 41.9; Needs Improvement

Willard Elementary

Elementary 2012-2013: 53.3; Needs Improvement/Progressing

Elementary 2011-2012: 47.1; Needs Improvement

Middle School 2012-13: 46.2; Needs Improvement/Progressing

Middle School 2011-12: 33.6; Needs Improvement