Whitesburg KY

Letcher board addresses test scores

Nine schools in the Letcher County Public School District scored above the state average in at least one category of state accountability scores, with four scoring above the state average in all categories.

Three scored as Four-Star Schools in the new accountability system, and some missed that ranking by one or two points. One received less than three stars. Statewide, just 56 of the 1,272 schools in Kentucky reached the top ranking of five stars.

While the scores have been out for several weeks, they were released after the September meeting of the Letcher County Board of Education. Jackie Collins, Director of Assessment Accountability for the district, presented the findings to the Letcher County School Board Monday night, along with an explanation of what the assessments mean.

The star ratings are determined by compiling scores from a school’s performance in different categories. For elementary and middle schools, those categories are Proficiency (percentage of students reaching proficiency in reading and math on standardized tests), Separate Academic Indicators (performance in science and writing), and Growth (change in student scores from one year to the next on reading and math). At the high school level, the categories include Proficiency and Separate Academic Indicators, but instead of Growth, schools are measured on Transition Readiness (college or career readiness), and graduation rate.

Collins said Letcher County Central High School scored two-tenths of one point below the state average, but scored “far above” the state average in the other three categories. The school scored 83.8 in transition readiness, and had a 96.6 percent graduation rate. The state averages were 66.8 points, and 91.1 percent respectively.

Collins also gave the board a comparison with 30 other high schools in the region. That comparison showed LCCHS at number six, below Jackson, Pikeville, Paintsville, Harlan and Hazard Independent districts. No other county school in the region scored higher.

“They were below us,” Collins said. “We know we are on the right path, and we know where we need to go.”

Among the 30 region schools, LCCHS was one-half of one point behind Hazard High School, and four-tenths of one point ahead of Leslie County High School. LCCHS scored 70.8, 1.4 points below the level required for a Four-Star rating. Jenkins High School was 25th on the list with a score of 53.7, a Two-Star rating.

Arlie Boggs Elementary School and Arlie Boggs Middle School, which are housed in the same building at Eolia, were both Four-Star Schools, as was Whitesburg Middle School. Arlie Boggs Elementary’s overall score was 71.0, Arlie Boggs Middle’s score was 67.1, and Whitesburg Middle’s score was 69.4. To receive four stars, an elementary school must score at least 71.0, a middle school must score at least 67.0, and a high school must score at least 72.0.

Schools that scored above the state average in all three accountability categories were Arlie Boggs Elementary, Letcher Elementary, Fleming-Neon Middle, and Whitesburg Middle. LCCHS scored above the state average in three of four categories, falling below average in reading and math.

Schools scoring above the state average in Proficiency and Separate Academic Indicators are West Whitesburg Elementary, and Arlie Boggs middle. Martha Jane Potter Elementary scored above the state average in Separate Academic Indicators; Cowan Middle and Letcher Middle scored above the state average in Growth.

The lowest performing school was Cowan Elementary, which received one star, and scored below the state average in all three categories.

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