Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Schools

September 28, 2011

Glasgow, Barren improve CCR scores

GLASGOW — The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) released test scores for the state’s public school districts on Tuesday including No Child Left Behind (NCLB), Kentucky Core Content Tests (KCCT), College/Career Readiness (CCR) and Gap to Goal (GTG).

The results for five area school districts, Barren County, Caverna, Glasgow, Metcalfe County and Monroe County, will be examined in a series of articles this week. The first component that will be reviewed is College/Career Readiness.

In 2009, Senate Bill 1 called for schools and districts to improve the college and career readiness of their students by 50 percent by 2014.

At a meeting in August, KDE approved the following criteria for college/career readiness measures: College-Ready students must meet benchmarks on either ACT, COMPASS (a test used to determine skills and college placement) or the Kentucky Online Testing Program (KYOTE). Career-Ready students must meet benchmarks for: one career academic requirement [Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) or ACT WorkKeys], and one career technical requirement [Kentucky Occupational Skill Standards Assessment System (KOSSA) or industry certificates], according to Lisa Gross, KDE spokesperson.

“Schools and districts may also receive bonus points for students who are prepared for both college and career. To be considered both college- and career-ready, students must meet benchmarks on ACT or COMPASS or KYOTE and benchmarks on KOSSA or industry certificates,” Gross said.

Among the five districts, three improved their percentages of CCR students compared to last year and two showed declines.

BARREN COUNTY

Barren County High School improved from 40 percent CCR graduates to 43 percent ready for college or career. If bonus points are added for the students who met criteria for both college and career readiness, the percent increases to 49. The district percentage, which also includes 32 additional students who attended BAVEL, the district’s virtual high school, and the College Street alternative campus, then shows increases of 41 and 47 percent respectively to last year.

Several factors contributed to Barren County’s increasing percentages, according to superintendent Bo Matthews.

“We recorded our highest ever ACT score of the entire junior class. We have a continued emphasis on college and career readiness with industry certification in our secondary programs,” he said. “This data confirms that our Early College Magnet along with our plethora of career and technical programs making an impact in our high school. Our students have embraced our efforts to improve rigor and relevance in all of our coursework. Our teachers continue to maximize the time that they spend instructing our students every day.”

The state-assigned CCR benchmark goal in 2014 for the Barren County school district is to have 70 percent of students ready for college and career. Does Matthews think that is a realistic number to achieve?

“Yes. Our target is to see a five percent increase in scores each year. That’s the challenge we have before us, we accept it and embrace for our students,” he said.

GLASGOW

INDEPENDENT

Glasgow High School improved from 36 percent college/career graduates in 2010 to 43 percent CCR and 49 percent CCR with bonus points this year. An additional 11 students attended the Success Academy, which gave the district overall percentages of 40 and 46 percent respectively.

Glasgow must increase the CCR percentage by another 19 points by 2014 to meet the goal set for the district by the state.

“Sixty-eight percent is attainable, but obviously greater growth must be obtained over the next couple of years,” said superintendent Sean Howard.

 He said school principals and teachers, along with instructional supervisors, are making the changes necessary to increase the number of graduates prepared for life after high school.

“Our growth can be attributed to a prescribed focus on such. Our instructional supervisor in conjunction with our principals and their PLCs (professional learning communities) are having meaningful dialogue and plans were put into action to carry out the plan. Our teachers are committed to making the necessary adjustments to propel us forward,” Howard said.

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