“Gap students” are those students that are identified as a minority, receive free/reduced lunch, receive special education, or are English language learners, Gilliam said. The Gap score is derived from the same data components that make up the Achievement score except that it only looks at the scores from “Gap students” and it only awards points for Gap students that earn Proficient and Distinguished scores.
GrowthGrowth is defined as students who meet typical or higher gains on the assessment based upon their “academic peers” from one year to the next. Growth is measured only in reading and mathematics.
An “academic peer” is not just defined as students who are in the same grade level, but students who are compared to the others across the state who scored at the same level.
Schools are given points for students who achieve typical or higher growth. That means, students who are already performing at a high level will not necessarily score points for their school if they do not achieve growth from the previous year. Whereas, a student who earns low scores but has achieved typical or higher growth from the following year, will gain points for the school.
In the past, a student could never score more than “distinguished,” therefore assessments did not focus on the growth of every student, especially those who already scored at a high level, Peffer said last year.
Elementary and middle school growth is calculated using K-PREP. High school growth is calculated using PLAN and ACT, which are part of a series of tests explained in the next component.
Only middle and high schools are scored with this component.
College Readiness is assessed using EPAS (Educational Planning and Assessment System) which consists of three tests: EXPLORE, administered to eighth-graders in September; PLAN given to tenth-graders, also in September; and ACT, taken by 11th-graders in March. These test are administered nationwide.
In middle schools, College Readiness is based on the percentage of students who meet the EXPLORE benchmarks in three academic areas, Reading, English and Mathematics. The score range is between one and 25.
High school students are deemed “college ready” if they meet the ACT benchmarks in the same academic areas. The score range is between one to 36.
Finally, high school students are considered “career ready” by achieving a qualifying score on the ACT, the ASVAB (military assessment test), COMPASS (Computer Adaptive Placement Assessment and Support System), KYOTE (Kentucky On-line Test), the ACT WorkKeys, a job skills assessment system that measures foundational and soft skills, or KOSSA (Kentucky Occupational Skill Standards), an industry-recognized certificate in a vocational field.