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The recent release of EXPLORE and PLAN test results show improvement in most of the local schools and include record scores for many in the area.
The EXPLORE and PLAN tests are precursors to the ACT college entrance exam and cover the same four subject areas — English, math, reading and science. EXPLORE is taken by eighth-graders and PLAN is taken by high school sophomores.
Together with the ACT, the tests are used to project how successful students would be in college. The scores are used as part of the new Unbridled Learning assessment model to award schools and districts a college and career readiness score.
Almost all middle and high schools in Hardin County Schools showed improvement from the past year, and most earned the highest scores in their history, said Mark Kopp, associate superintendent for instructional services.
“I think the key word is growth,” Kopp said.
Four of the five middle schools improved in every subject, except two areas that held steady from the previous year. The exception was West Hardin Middle School, which declined in the four subject areas.
Central Hardin High School improved in all areas on the PLAN. John Hardin High School sophomores improved in all subjects except for a small decline in math. North Hardin High School’s composite score held steady, with an increase in English and declines in math and science.
Kopp said the results bode well for the next release of the Unbridled Learning data and district officials hope to see improvement in those assessments as well. He attributed the success to a continual focus on classroom instruction, which is monitored with regular classroom visits by administrators.
Elizabethtown Independent Schools had mixed results in the outcomes. T.K. Stone Middle School declined in the four subjects from the previous year’s test results, but Elizabethtown High School improved in the subjects on the PLAN.
EIS Superintendent Gary French said the “tremendous” high school scores came from the school’s focus on the standards and the students’ understanding of the importance of the ACT and its preparatory tests.
French said T.K. Stone was on a path of growth previously, and district officials would continue to watch their trend of scores over a period of time, and not focus too heavily on one year’s results.
LaRue County Schools also earned some of its highest scores ever in several areas of both PLAN and EXPLORE.Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or firstname.lastname@example.org.