Kentucky’s new accountability system is grounded in over two years of outreach and engagement efforts with thousands of Kentuckians, including educators at all levels, families, businesses, education partners, policymakers and communities. In developing the system, we challenged our residents to think boldly and innovate to take our system of public education in Kentucky to the next level.
Kentuckians brought forth a shared vision of K-12 public education in our state that each and every student is empowered and equipped with the knowledge, skills and dispositions to pursue a successful future. It is that vision, the values of equity, achievement and integrity, and the following ideals upon which this multi-dimensional system is based.
- Our children, all children, must be at the heart of the system.
- A well-rounded education is important and necessary.
- All subjects, both tested and non-tested, need to be valued.
- Access and opportunity for students are critical.
- An emphasis on teaching is needed.
- Collaboration instead of competition among schools and districts needs to be the focus.
Our accountability system, aligned to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), has students at its center—ensuring that they are well-rounded, transition ready, and prepared with the knowledge, skills, and essential dispositions to successfully pursue the pathway of their choice after graduating from high school. The indicators of the multi-dimensional system work together to support several important concepts that promote a valuable educational experience for all Kentucky’s students. The goals of the system included,
- Stimulate higher levels of student learning and achievement;
- Reduce achievement gaps and ensure equity;
- Emphasize opportunity and access for students to receive a quality education;
- Build a culture of high expectations and continuous improvement; and
- Communicate a clear and honest understanding of the strengths and opportunities for improvement in Kentucky’s schools and districts.
Rather than relying just on traditional measures of only test scores, the innovative system incorporates more than test scores. The indicators include Proficiency, Separate Academic Indicator, Growth, Transition Readiness, Achievement Gap Closure, Opportunity and Access and Graduation Rate.
Reaching the desired level of knowledge and skills as measured on state-required academic assessments
Reaching the desired level of knowledge and skills in science, social studies and writing
Growth (elementary and middle schools only)
Student’s continuous improvement toward the goal of proficiency and beyond
Graduation Rate (high school only)
Percentage of students earning a high school diploma compared to the cohort of students starting in grade 9
Attainment of the necessary knowledge, skills and dispositions to successfully transition to the next level of his or her education career.
Achievement Gap Closure
Reducing the disparity in performance between student groups by moving all students to higher levels and moving those at the lowest levels more rapidly.
Equitable availability to research-based student experiences and school factors that impact student success
Many shareholders were involved in the development of the new accountability system driven by the guidance of advisory groups comprised of educators, citizens, legislators, testing and measurement experts, and legislative staff.
National Technical Advisory Panel on Assessment and Accountability (NTAPAA), Legislative Research Commission (LRC), Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee, and Office of Education Accountability (OEA)