State Testing & Accountability
Kentucky’s accountability system uses multiple academic and school quality measures rather than a single test or indicator. The system has students at its center — ensuring they are well-rounded, transition-ready, and prepared with knowledge, skills, and essential dispositions to successfully pursue the pathway of their choice after graduating from high school. Key goals include to:
- Promote higher levels of student learning and achievement;
- Reduce achievement gaps and ensure equity;
- Establish opportunity and access for students to receive a quality education;
- Build a culture of high expectations and continuous improvement;
- Communicate a clear and honest understanding of strengths and opportunities for improvement in schools and districts.
In August 2017, the Kentucky Board of Education unanimously approved the regulation that would govern the state’s newest accountability system under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and Senate Bill 1 (2017). As of 2018-19, schools and districts receive an overall rating of one to five stars (very low to very high) as determined by school performance on multiple indicators – proficiency, a separate academic indicator for science and social studies, growth (elementary and middle school), achievement gap closure, transition readiness, graduation rate (high school), and opportunity and access. Those performance levels combine to produce the overall star rating.
In an online dashboard called Kentucky School Report Card, reports for each school and district show graphics displaying the overall identification of one to five stars, federal classifications, the performance on indicators (from very low to very high), and any statistically significant achievement gaps.
Understanding the 5-star system
- Elementary in English & elementary in Spanish
- Middle school in English & middle school in Spanish
- High school in English & high school in Spanish
- 2019-20 -- KDE canceled the spring 2020 testing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 2018-19 State Accountability Data & Oct. 1, 2019 news release
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