The Richmond Register

Local News

September 27, 2013

A guide to Kentucky’s new accountability system

School/district report cards to be released Friday

RICHMOND — Second-year data for Kentucky’s new school accountability system, Unbridled Learning, will be released Friday for all state schools.

Last year, the new accountability model brought many changes to the way schools are assessed.

Not only are there changes in scorekeeping methods, but also in the range of scores possible. For example, in the past, schools could score between zero and 140. Now, schools may score between zero and 100.

There were changes in the state’s standards of proficiency as well.

“In the past, there was a high percentage of students reaching proficiency on the state assessment, but when they took the EXPLORE, PLAN and ACT (nationwide tests), the percentage of kids reaching proficiency was no where close to the number of kids who were meeting the benchmark ― there was an over-inflation of students meeting proficiency,” said Randy Peffer, who served as Madison County Schools’ chief academic officer from 2008 until last year, when he moved on to a position at the Kentucky Department of Education.

The new Kentucky standards in reading and math adopted in 2010 has risen the bar for students to meet proficiency, he said, therefore the number of students meeting proficiency was expected to drop.

After a final score is tallied for each school, it is ranked state-wide from highest to lowest, so that each fall into a percentile.

Schools in the 90th percentile and above are labelled “distinguished;” 70th to 89th percentile are “proficient;” and anything below 70th “needs improvement.”

In February 2012, the U.S. Department of Education granted Kentucky flexibility under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, according to a press release from the KDE. This flexibility allows the state to use the Unbridled Learning model to report both state- and federal-level accountability measures.

New ‘progressing’ distinction

This year, the label “progressing” can now be tagged onto labels of “distinguished,” “proficient,” or “needs improvement” for some schools.

This distinction means the school increased its score by a certain number of points to meet or exceed its annual measurable objective, or AMO. 

The school’s/district’s overall score will be used to calculate AMOs, which is number of points it must gain each year for the next five years to achieve proficiency. This is similar to the adequate yearly progress, or AYP measurement used in No Child Left Behind.

Under NCLB, a school’s AYP was used to determine whether schools were doing well. If a school made AYP, it was not subject to consequences, according to KDE.

In Kentucky’s new system, the term “AYP” was eliminated and now schools must achieve AMO.

Because 2011-12 was the first year using the new standards and accountability system, last year’s data was baseline and every school and district was given an AMO of 1 to exceed this year, said David Gilliam, Madison County Schools’ new chief academic officer.

From here on, however, every school labeled proficient and above will continue to have just an AMO of 1, he said.

Preliminary data from KDE indicates that several Madison County Schools increased their school score by at at least one point and achieved AMO, which gives them the distinction of “progressing.”

Text Only
Local News
  • 7-27 HeartChase 1.jpg A race to the finish line

    Sheltered by overcast sky and supported by a cool breeze, teams competed Saturday morning in the second annual HeartChase at Richmond Centre.

    July 26, 2014 6 Photos

  • 7-27 Hops 1.jpg Hops & Vine Festival raises money for humane society

    Downtown Richmond’s Hops and Vine Festival started more than two years ago with a question.

    July 26, 2014 3 Photos

  • Bill Clinton will stump for Grimes in eastern Kentucky

    Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is again calling in the “Big Dog” in her quest to unseat five-term Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

    Former President Bill Clinton will join Grimes on Aug. 6 for a campaign rally in eastern Kentucky, according to a campaign official who would provide no further details.

    July 26, 2014

  • 7-26 Stockyards 2.jpg Cattle farmers enjoying ‛perfect storm’

    Demand is up, and cattle are selling for record prices.

    At the same time, corn prices are down and fuel prices have stabilized.

    That adds up to a “perfect storm” for Kentucky cattle farmers, said Gary Kelly of Paint Lick as he ate lunch Friday with his brother Jimmy at the restaurant across from the Blue Grass Stockyards.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • 7-26 Fire Practice Structure 1.jpg Fire training tower going up

    A new training tower for the Richmond Fire Department is rising on Four Mile Road.

    Construction began Thursday on the four-story, steel-framed structure.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • Pavement work to restrict I-75 in Rockcastle County

    Beginning Sunday until about the end of November, Interstate 75 in Rockcastle County will be reduced to one lane in each direction between mile points 58 and 66 for pavement work.

    July 26, 2014

  • Jailed woman charged with heroin trafficking

    A Richmond woman already jailed on another charge was served with a drug trafficking warrant Thursday.

    July 26, 2014

  • County’s jobless rate improves

    Madison County’s unemployment rate for June, 6.5 percent, was a full percentage point lower than a year earlier and 0.2 points lower than in May.

    July 24, 2014

  • 7-25 Camp Invention 1.jpg Young inventors turn trash to treasure

    The first day of Camp Invention began with a room full of objects ready to be recycled, Sarah Shaffer, director of the camp said Thursday.

    July 24, 2014 6 Photos

  • 7-25 William Gilbert.jpg Four arrested on meth charges at Berea motel

    Berea Police arrested four people Wednesday at the Knights Inn on Chestnut Street, including a man they said tried to conceal a meth lab on his person.

    July 24, 2014 5 Photos