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Several local schools receive high scores in state testing

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EIS distinguished, HCS proficient in assessment

By Kelly Cantrall

The majority of local high schools were rated as distinguished in this year’s state assessments, and several more schools were considered proficient in the second year of the Unbridled Learning For All Assessment and Accountability System.

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Central Hardin High School, Elizabethtown High School, John Hardin High School and LaRue County High School are rated as distinguished based on the testing data, which was released today. Morningside Elementary School and LaRue County Middle School also are included on the distinguished list.

Elizabethtown Independent Schools is rated distinguished and Hardin County Schools is rated as a proficient district.

Schools and districts in the top 10 percent are considered distinguished, and those in the top 30 percent are considered proficient.

HCS was close to hitting proficient last year. Officials are happy to reach that distinction now, but HCS Superintendent Nannette Johnston said there are more important areas of focus.

“We are about growth and making improvements,” Johnston said.

EIS Superintendent Jon Ballard said the district’s distinguished rating is a culmination of a lot of hard work.

“We continued to keep improving,” Ballard said.

Schools that are proficient are East Hardin, J.T. Alton and West Hardin middle schools, and G.C. Burkhead, Heartland, Lincoln Trail and Vine Grove elementary schools.

The remaining local schools are included in the “needs improvement” category. T.K. Stone Middle School, North Hardin High School and North Middle School are considered “focus” schools, which highlight them as schools that have areas that need extra attention.

Schools and districts receive one overall score, on a scale of 1 to 100, that is created using the data in up to five areas — achievement in various subject areas, student growth in reading and math, college and career readiness among students, graduation rates and the proficiency of at-risk student populations. Schools and districts also receive specific data in these categories.

The tests also are based on the new, more rigorous Kentucky Core Academic Standards in English and math.

The LaRue County Schools district scored highest with a 65.7, followed by Elizabethtown Independent Schools at 64.3, Hardin County Schools at 58.4 and West Point Independent School at 51.8.
 
About half of the local schools improved their overall score: Morningside, Howevalley, Rineyville, Vine Grove, Abraham Lincoln and Hodgenville elementary schools; East Hardin, T.K. Stone, J.T. Alton and West Hardin middle schools; and Central Hardin, Elizabethtown, North Hardin and LaRue County high schools.

Elizabethtown High had the highest score among area high schools at 68.9. LaRue County Middle’s score of 65.5 was the highest among area middle schools. Morningside had the highest score among area elementary schools with a score of 70.5.

Johnston said this data serves as a tool to guide the district’s instruction.

Once school officials receive it, “we have people diving into the data at very deep levels,” she said.

But, she said, regular assessments throughout the year are as crucial to determining instruction.

“This is one small piece of what we look at,” she said.

The testing system still is being tweaked, with an upcoming addition of program reviews for certain school departments and then a later addition of an employee evaluation piece. The system still feels new, Johnston said.

“It’s still a huge change,” she said.

Kelli Bush, EIS assistant superintendent of instruction and curriculum, said this year there was less time spent understanding the new data.

“I think it’s really more of a comfort level” that faculty felt this year, she said.

Kelly Cantrall can be reached at 270-505-1747 or kcantrall@thenewsenterprise.com.

FOR MORE

Click the links below for more testing statistics.

Overall scores

Growth percentages

Graduation rates

College/career readiness

Gap percentages

Achievement scores