State report shows growth in JCPS reading scores, identifies schools with achievement gaps

State report increases number of JCPS school needing 'comprehensive support'

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Kentucky Board of Education (KDE) released the latest student achievement scores Wednesday morning.

Along with the rest of the state, the Jefferson County Public School district has seen continuous growth for reading proficiency in middle school students.

At the highest it’s been since 2012, 50.5% of JCPS middle school students scored proficient or distinguished in the subject.

Elementary school students scoring proficient and distinguished in reading stayed the same as last year’s scores at 46.3%.

Elementary school students scoring proficient and distinguished in math is down from 44.9% last year to 41.1%.

Middle school math scores are down slightly from 38.8% to 37.3%.

High school students who scored proficient or higher in reading tallied 38.2%. And in math, 31%.

The four-year graduation rate continues to grow; up from 80.6% to 81.6%.

While student achievement mostly remains the same, Interim Education Commissioner Dr. Wayne Lewis says a high graduation rate indicates that students are being graduated without fundamental skills.

“We’re talking about half of the students tested at the elementary and at the middle school level who are at the level of proficient or higher, that’s extremely troubling,” Lewis said. “It should give us great pause. In fact, this should be a moment of truth for us, a moment for us to take a look at our performance -- not just this year, but over the last few years -- and say what are we doing or what are we not doing that is resulting in the lack of change and the lack of improvement that’s showing in student test scores.”

Of the three JCPS high schools that didn’t meet graduation standards, Iroquois High had the lowest with 62.7%.

The average across the state was 90.3%, despite 48.7% of graduates testing as ready to graduate, or transition ready.

Of JCPS students, 39.9% tested as transition ready.

“There is no doubt that we have movement to make in ensuring that every student where we are graduating the highest number of students we also have to make sure everyone of those students is transition ready,” Pollio said.

This year, there’s a new system to identify the schools that need the most help as well as the schools that might be doing well overall, but have certain populations of students who need extra attention.

The new system reclassifies existing priority schools as CSI schools, which means they’re in need of comprehensive support and improvement. Twenty-one JCPS schools fell into this category, including 11 that weren’t considered priority schools

All title 1 schools performing in the bottom 5% across the state or that have a graduation rate below 80% get CSI status.

Schools with one or more groups of students who are performing poorly have been identified as TSI schools, meaning targeted support and improvement. Sixty-four JCPS schools have been listed in the new TSI category.

Unlike schools classified as CSI, TSI schools will not require state support. The responsibility will fall on the district to make improvements. However, by law if a school is classified TSI for three years it will become a CSI school.

Lewis said the TSI classification is meant to highlight achievement gaps that may have previously been hidden in otherwise well-performing schools.

"Being designated a TSI does not mean that you are failing school,” Lewis said. “This is a new opportunity for us to shine a light on places where we need to make tremendous improvement and one of those areas at the school level, at the district level, and at the state level that we must make significant improvements is in closing achievement gaps."

Pollio said the groundwork is already in place to close the achievement gaps in the district.

“We are laying the foundation for a brighter future for all of our students and our hard work continues,” Pollio said. “We are finding more ways to engage students in meaningful learning experiences through our Backpack of Success Skills. As we look at these results, we see the challenges but we know what is possible. I believe our Academies of Louisville initiative will help increase transition readiness, and we have strategies in place with our racial equity policy to help close the achievement gap with our students. We will move this district forward.”

JCPS CSI Schools:

  • Foster Traditional Academy
  • Frederick Law Olmsted Academy North
  • Frederick Law Olmsted Academy South
  • Iroquois High
  • Johnsontown Road Elem.
  • Knight Middle
  • Marion C. Moore School
  • Maupin Elem.
  • McFerran Preparatory Academy
  • Price Elem.
  • Semple Elem.
  • Shelby Traditional Academy
  • Slaughter Elem.
  • Stuart Academy
  • The Academy @ Shawnee
  • Thomas Jefferson Middle
  • Valley High
  • Waggener High
  • Wellington Elem.
  • Western High

JCPS TSI Schools:

  • Atkinson Academy
  • Auburndale Elem.
  • Ballard High
  • Breckinridge-Franklin Elem.
  • Butler Traditional High
  • Camp Taylor Elem.
  • Carrithers Middle
  • Central High Magnet Career Academy
  • Chancey Elem.
  • Cochrane Elem.
  • Conway Middle
  • Coral Ridge Elem.
  • Crosby Middle
  • Crums Lane Elem.
  • Doss High
  • Dunn Elem.
  • Eastern High
  • Eisenhower Elem.
  • Fairdale High
  • Farnsley Middle
  • Fern Creek High
  • Field Elem.
  • Goldsmith Elem.
  • Gutermuth Elem.
  • Hazelwood Elem.
  • Highland Middle
  • Indian Trail Elem.
  • Jacob Elem.
  • Jeffersontown Elem.
  • Jeffersontown High
  • Johnson Traditional Middle
  • Kennedy Montessori Elem.
  • King Elem.
  • Klondike Lane Elem.
  • Lassiter Middle
  • Lincoln Elem. Performing Arts
  • Luhr Elem.
  • Marion C. Moore School
  • Meyzeek Middle
  • Middletown Elem.
  • Mill Creek Elem.
  • Minors Lane Elem.
  • Newburg Middle
  • Noe Middle
  • Norton Elem.
  • Pleasure Ridge Park High
  • Ramsey Middle
  • Rangeland Elem.
  • Robert Frost Sixth-Grade Academy
  • Rutherford Elem.
  • Sanders Elem.
  • Seneca High
  • Shacklette Elem.
  • Southern High
  • St Matthews Elem.
  • Trunnell Elem.
  • Watterson Elem.
  • Western Middle School For The Arts
  • Westport Middle
  • Wheeler Elem.
  • Wilkerson Traditional Elem.
  • Wilt Elem.

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