Published: 3/19/2021 3:26 PM

2020-2021 Accountability

On Feb. 22, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) invited states to request a waiver for the 2020-2021 school year of the accountability and school identification requirements in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). A state receiving this waiver would not be required to implement and report the results of its accountability system, including calculating progress toward long-term goals and measurements of interim progress or indicators, or to annually meaningfully differentiate among its public schools using data from the 2020-2021 school year. KDE will request this and other flexibilities offered.

On March 8, USED provided a template for states to complete and submit for waivers from accountability and school identification. KDE will submit the waiver and anticipates USED approval.

With an approved waiver, the state would not be required to identify schools for comprehensive support and improvement (CSI), targeted support and improvement (TSI), and additional targeted support and improvement (ATSI) based on data from the 2020-2021 school year. Each state that receives the accountability and school identification waivers would be required to continue to support previously identified schools in the 2021-2022 school year, resume school identification in the fall of 2022, and ensure transparency to parents and the public, including publicly reporting the percentage of students assessed and not assessed, disaggregated by student subgroup. 

Senate Bill 158 (2020)

The passage of Senate Bill 158 (2020) introduced significant changes to Kentucky's statewide school accountability system. Amendments are expected in several areas. The Office of Assessment and Accountability (OAA) has developed a Comparison of SB158 Changes document that provides further detail. At the October 2020 meeting of the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE), OAA presented a Comparison of Federal and State Accountability Requirements and Consideration Areas for the KBE.

All modifications made to the assessment and accountability system must be approved by the U.S. Department of Education through our ESSA Consolidated State Plan.

In addition to the changes that impact Kentucky's school accountability system, SB 158 also requires changes to graduation requirements, and revises criteria for determining Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) and Additional Targeted Support and Improvement (ATSI). Amendments and implementation dates are identified within the legislation.

Visit the Development of School Accountability System page for more information.

2019-2020 Accountability

As a result of the COVID-19 emergency, The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) received approval from the U.S. Department of Education (USED) for our state waiver, which allowed Kentucky to bypass standardized testing for the 2019-2020 school year. At the same time, KDE was approved to be exempted from certain statewide school accountability requirements.

2018-2019 Accountability

In February 2018, the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) approved amending the accountability system regulation 703 KAR 5;270, to be implemented beginning with the 2018-2019 school year. The amended regulation, which included changes based on Senate Bill 175, 2019, was approved by the KBE and became final on May 31, 2019. 

Fall 2019 public reporting was the first time that schools, districts, and the state were assigned an Overall Rating of one to five stars, based on the overall score of combined school-level measures and indicators of Proficiency, Separate Academic, Growth, Transition Readiness, and Graduation Rate using the weights approved by the Kentucky Board of Education. 

Schools also received federal classifications of Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) and Additional Targeted Support and Improvement (ATSI).

Results of the 2018-2019 Accountability reporting are located in Open House in the School Report Card.


Kentucky’s school accountability system reported for the 2018-2019 school year was grounded in over two years of outreach and engagement efforts with thousands of Kentuckians who 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. The indicators of the multi-dimensional system, aligned to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), worked together to support several important concepts that promoted a valuable educational experience for all Kentucky’s students.

A summary of the overall system is available in the 2019 Accountability at a Glance document.

More detailed information is located on the Development of School Accountability page.

Advisory Groups 

Many shareholders were involved in the development of the 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)

Rhonda Sims
Office of Assessment and Accountability
300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-2256 Ext 4751
Fax (502) 564-7749

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