JCPS students show progress on 2022-2023 state assessment

JCPS students show progress on 2022-2023 state assessment
Published: Oct. 31, 2023 at 9:03 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 31, 2023 at 10:46 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Results of the 2022-23 Kentucky Summative Assessment show improvement among every demographic group of Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) students.

State assessments show how JCPS performed in academic performance. Students are assessed in grades 3-8, 10, and 11 in a variety of subjects on tests that were developed by Kentucky teachers.

Results showed improved proficiency rates in reading and improved or maintained proficiency rates in math, in addition to significant increases in JCPS’ graduation and post-secondary readiness rates, which are both at all-time highs.

“The gains we are seeing in reading among all of our student groups is encouraging,” JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said. “It is a testament to the hard work of our teachers and staff who are preparing our children to be successful at the next level.”

According to the assessment, almost 70% of JCPS schools increased or significantly increased their reading and math scores.

There were 93,418 students during the 2022-2023 school year.

Kentucky Department of Education officials say the 2023 school report card reflects the lasting effects of the pandemic on student learning.

Statewide, just under 30% of students were considered to be “chronically absent”.

“There’s going to be a lot of support and encouragement needed from administrators, teachers, family members, community members to help us get kids back into school regularly,” Robin Fields Kinney, Kentucky Interim Commissioner of Education, said.

School districts are federally ranked on overall performance on a color-coded scale. Red is the lowest performance level, followed by orange, yellow, green, and blue, which is the highest performance level. JCPS elementary schools were ranked as “yellow” (medium) and JCPS middle and high schools were ranked as “orange” (low). In the previous year, all three were orange.

Here’s the percentage of students who received proficient or distinguished scores in reading compared to the previous year:

  • Elementary school: 39% (36% previous year)
  • Middle school: 34% (32% previous year)
  • High School: 37% (37% previous year)

Here’s the percentage of students who received proficient or distinguished scores in mathematics compared to the previous year:

  • Elementary school: 32% (27% previous year)
  • Middle School: 23% (25% previous year)
  • High school: 25% (29% previous year)

Here’s the percentage of students who received proficient or distinguished scores in reading and math broken down between economically disadvantaged vs. non-economically disadvantaged students. Students are identified as “economically disadvantaged” if they are program or income-eligible for free and reduced-price meals:


Economically disadvantaged students:

  • Elementary school students: 29%
  • Midde school students: 24%
  • High school students: 27%

Non-economically disadvantaged students:

  • Elementary school students: 62%
  • Midde school students: 56%
  • High school students: 55%


Economically disadvantaged students:

  • Elementary school students: 22%
  • Midde school students: 14%
  • High school students: 15%

Non-economically disadvantaged students:

  • Elementary school students: 56%
  • Midde school students: 44%
  • High school students: 44%

Graduation stats:

  • 6,450 graduates from the previous year transitioned to in-state post-secondary education, either full or part time, at public or private colleges.
  • 14% of graduates from the previous year went on to college
  • 5.7% went into the military
  • 33.1% are working
  • 32.6% are doing a work/school combination
  • 14.5% simply labeled as “other”
  • No JCPS graduation rate given but the statewide 4-year graduation rate was 91.4%
  • JCPS is rated “yellow” for its high school graduation rate and rated “green” for post-secondary readiness.

School Safety:

  • There were 92,947 behavior events during the 2022-2023 school year.
  • **In the 2021-2022 school year, there were 69,490 events - huge leap there**
  • “Behavior events” include anything from assault, to weapons, drugs, and alcohol violations. The vast majority of these events are simply labeled “other events resulting in state resolutions.”
  • Assault, 1st degree: 46
  • Other assault or violence: 1,963
  • Weapons: 668
  • Harassment/bullying: 5,094
  • Drugs: 2,197
  • Alcohol: 64
  • Tobacco: 2,352
  • Other events resulting in state resolutions: 80,563
  • The majority of these events (over 53,000) happened in the classroom. Over 2,000 events happened on the bus.
  • There were 122 arrests as a result of these events.
  • 19.1% of students have behavior events.

Overall, elementary schools improved the rating applied by the state from orange to yellow. Results showed improved proficiency rates in every content area among all student groups, with 81% of elementary schools increasing or significantly increasing their reading and math scores.

“When you take overall, all of our students combined, we had every student group increase in reading proficiency across the district. In math proficiency, we saw all of our student groups either improve or maintain in math proficiency across all of our students,” Pollio said.

JCPS said the number of middle and high schools that increased their scores in reading and math outnumbered the schools that decreased, however, while overall test scores for middle and high schools declined in some content areas, their overall rating remained the same as last year (orange).

“We’re thrilled with the impressive improvements our elementary school students are showing,” Pollio said. “But we also recognize that those gains in elementary school cannot level off or decline in middle and high school. We are attacking this issue with a renewed focus on chronic absenteeism in our upper grades to ensure students are in the classroom and getting face-to-face instruction. I’m confident this focus as well as our newly instituted, district-wide literacy and math curricula will make a difference in student achievement going forward.”

Showing a substantial increase was JCPS’ four-year graduation rate at 87%. The graduation gap between black and white students is now 2.4%, down from 5% in the 2017-2018 school year. Another area that showed improvement - last year, JCPS had 34 schools in what’s called “comprehensive support and improvement” or “CSI” status. CSI schools are those whose state assessment scores ranked in the bottom five percent statewide.

“This year we had nine schools out of CSI status,” Pollio said. “Meaning they went past other schools and out of the bottom 5%. Along with our data from last year, we’ve now had 22 schools exit CSI status in the past two years.”

JCPS said the four-year graduation rate for Black students is at an all-time high of 86.5%.

“Our goal continues to be to graduate students who are critical thinkers, can clearly express themselves and make meaningful contributions to their families and our community,” Pollio said. “We continue to make progress toward that goal while recognizing there is room for improvement.”

But there are other areas the district is still working to change – for example, the district’s school safety scores. As part of the assessment, the state identifies what are labeled “behavior events”.

The label describes instances involving things like assault, weapons, drugs and alcohol, or other events resulting in state resolutions. There were more than 92,000 behavior events in the 2022-2023 school year. That’s up from 69,000 the previous year. The data shows 640 of those instances involved weapons.

When asked about this, Polio said while the district is working to improve school safety, the numbers don’t paint the full picture. 

“I think you would need to look at what it means by weapons and what that distinction is,” Pollio said. “So I think sometimes weapons, and yes we had reported I think about 26 handguns last year. So 650 weapons does not mean that. There’s a variety of ways that can be defined from a pencil or a pen to other things as well.”

You can go through and see how each grade did in each different subject compared to the state average.

For more information, click here.