JCPS reacts to 52% passing national test

Louisville, KY - By Matt McCutcheon - e-mail | bio

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Hundreds of pages of national testing results for JCPS during the 2009-2010 school were released Thursday.

The progress report indicates that 52% of JCPS schools met their goals under the No Child Left Behind Tests, an outcome that is down from 68% during the 2008-2009 school year.

"We see some promising results, and then we also see some disappointing results, so it's like a mixed bag," said Robert Rodosky, JCPS Executive Director of Research, Planning, and Accountability.

The core subject areas students are tested on include math and science. The district made gains in reading, but the numbers just don't add up when it comes to the math portion of the testing.

"We're surveying our principals to get a first cut as to what they think went right and what might have been problematic," Rodosky said.

Leaders say they plan to study the schools that passed both tests, and then take those lessons to schools that continue to struggle.

There are sub-categories that weigh heavily on a school's score outside of math and science.

Take for example Hite Elementary School.  It passed 14 out of 15 tested areas; low income students - as determined by those qualifying for free or reduce lunches - failed the reading test, and that in turn means the school fails.

To further break down the formula, say a sub-group has 10 students in it. Under the criteria, 8 would have to pass, meaning every student is important.

"Say I'm a student and I get sick during the testing window and I can't make the test and I can't get there for the make-up day, then I'm counted as a novice non-performer," Rodosky said.

So in our example, if that sick student brings the number down to seven students passing the test, the sub-group fails - and so does the school.

It's an assessment plan district leaders don't necessarily agree with.

"It's a mislabel in a way because they are making progress," Rodosky said. "They just aren't making progress at a level that someone in Washington DC wanted them to make."

District leaders also aren't happy with the state-dictated testing dates, which are usually right in the thick of the Kentucky Derby.

In the Spring of 2012, the dates will move to the last two weeks of school, and officials hope that and other dramatic changes will help them gallop toward success.

[View test results]

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