STANFORD — Lincoln County schools, especially the high school, are making great strides toward getting educational quality more in line with state guidelines, local educators say.
The recently released Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP) test results show Lincoln County schools are now ranked just above the state average, said Superintendent Karen Hatter. Two schools, Hustonville and McKinney elementaries, were ranked proficient according to the new state standards. The overall district score is 55.9; the state average is 55.2.
“While we are nowhere near where we want to be, performing at or above state average places us in a position to refine the curriculum and instructional processes we currently have in place,” Hatter said. “Our goal is nothing less than to demonstrate continuous academic improvement from year to year until we become a proficient district.”
K-PREP is a new scoring system that cannot be fairly compared to the past Commonwealth Accountability Testing System (CATS) model, notes Pamela Hart, chief deputy of quality management. However, the school system’s overall ranking is much better than in previous years.
Last year, the Kentucky Department of Education ranked Lincoln public schools as persistently low-achieving. This required a restructuring of Lincoln’s administration and for Hatter and Lincoln High Principal Tim Godbey to work closely with the state to remediate education at the high school.
Lincoln High was ranked 57.6 overall in the K-PREP results which is above the state average and right at the “cusp of proficiency,” Hatter said.
Hatter, Hart and Jim Ward, the district’s coordinator for assessment, instruction and curriculum lauded Godbey’s considerable efforts to help get every high school student “college or career ready.”
“... To move from a priority school to one close to the proficient mark is a tremendous accomplishment,” the superintendent said. “I commend the leadership of Mr. Godbey and the commitment of his entire staff.”
Godbey has been meeting individually with students and teachers to help them with goal-setting and has “some really authentic approaches in place that are making a significant difference” in education, Hart said.
Even with two schools at proficiency and one school close to proficiency, local educators recognize there is still a lot of work to be done to get the school district into its best shape for the students.
Improvements are especially necessary at Crab Orchard Elementary which received the lowest score of 47. Stanford Elementary received the second-lowest score of 50.4.
District administrators and educators at the schools are in the first stages of creating intervention plans to get those scores closer to proficiency, Ward said.
“Although the district and most of our schools are not quite performing at this top echelon, we intend to move quickly toward that goal,” Hatter said.
The next round of K-PREP tests, which cover reading, mathematics, science, social studies and writing, will be administered during the last two weeks of the 2012-13 academic year.