Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Schools

September 30, 2011

Are districts closing the gap?

(Continued)

GLASGOW — CAVERNA

The Caverna district overall is closing the gap in three subpopulations, had no change in three more and had a widening gap in one group.

Caverna Elementary School closed the gap in six groups. Only one subpopulation, students with disabilities, showed a widening gap.

The high school showed closing gaps in all seven subpopulations and had no groups with widening gaps.

Caverna Middle School had widening gaps in all seven measured subgroups compared to last year, however.

Superintendent Sam Dick was unavailable for comment.

GLASGOW

The Glasgow district closed gaps in five subpopulations, saw the gap widen in one group and had no change in four others. Half of the district’s four schools had fairly positive results, the other two had less successful outcomes.

South Green Elementary had one subpopulation where the gap was closing, but had six with widening gaps.

Highland Elementary showed groups with three closing gaps, three widening gaps and two with no change compared to last year.

Glasgow Middle School was the most successful district facility with all eight subpopulations showing closing gaps.

Glasgow High School showed widening gaps in all seven groups.

Sean Howard, Glasgow superintendent, said these results can provide an inaccurate assessment of a school.

“South Green is performing fairly well and then when you look at the Gap To Goal you’d be led to believe that it’s a failing school,” he said.

One has to take into account which populations are moving and in which direction, according to Howard.

“If our higher-performing students are continuing to improve and the ones at the lower end of the spectrum are not being pulled along at the same rate, that’s going to widen the gap and I’m OK with that. If your gap is closing because your higher-performing kids are stagnant and then there’s a big push at the bottom up, that’s good for the kids at the bottom. It’s not good for the higher kids, but you’re identified as closing the gap,” he said.

Howard said he still relies on certain key indicators as the measure for success of students.

“I still go back to in the end – when we look at ACT scores, when we look at college readiness – those are the things that are going to paint the clearest picture for us as to what we have done for our students from preschool through grade 12. And we’re not nearly where we want to be, not nearly where we need to be, but to me those are the clearest indicators of if your school district has been successful in educating the child,” he said.

The results at the high school should be an expected trend across the state, Howard said.

“The high school is always going to be the toughest beast when it comes to accountability,” he said.

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