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By RON BENNINGFIELD
Recent scores released on EXPLORE and PLAN tests show LaRue County students are on track to be ready for college coursework by the time they graduate high school.
EXPLORE is given to all eighth-grade public school students and PLAN is administered to all 10th-grade students in Kentucky each September. The assessments, precursors to the ACT college entrance exam given to all public high school juniors in the state each March, test knowledge in English, math, reading and science.
LaRue County Middle School students scored higher than the state average in every area on EXPLORE, which has a maximum score of 25. The greatest difference was in English, where LaRue’s eighth-graders scored 16.1, 1.5 points higher than the state’s 14.6. LCMS scores in reading, 15.9, and science, 18.1, climbed 1.4 points above the state averages, 14.5 in reading and 16.7 in science.
“We are very close to reaching our goal of being a consistent Top 10 percent, High Performing District,” noted Sam Sanders, LaRue County Schools superintendent. “This was the second year in a row for stellar scores from LCMS on EXPLORE.”
“All staff and students are to be congratulated for these excellent EXPLORE/PLAN scores,” he said. “I’d also like to thank our board of education members for their continued support.”
On the EXPLORE composite, LaRue is in the top seven percent of districts overall. The highest ranking is in science where the district is ranked 10th, scoring as well or better than 94 percent of all Kentucky school districts in science. Last year, the middle school ranked 15th in the state with a composite of 16.3.
On the PLAN assessment, with a maximum score of 32, LaRue County High School scored as high as or higher than the state in all areas. LCHS sophomores outscored the state average by seven-tenths of a point in English, 17.3 compared to 16.6, by 0.4 in math, 17.5 compared to 17.1 and 0.4 in reading, 17.2 compared to 16.8.
LaRue is in the top 28 percent of districts overall. The highest PLAN sub-score percentiles were in English, where LaRue scored as well or better than 79 percent of all Kentucky districts, and in math and reading, where LaRue fared as well or better than 74 percent of all state school districts.
EXPLORE trend data for LCMS showed a positive line in all areas. The most significant gain was in science, where LCMS improved 1.6 points over the five-year period and scored 1.5 points higher in English and reading.
PLAN trend data for LCHS also revealed a positive trend line in all areas over the past five years. The most significant gain during the five-year period was in English, where LCHS gained 1.5 points, and in reading where the school has shown a 0.7-point improvement.
EXPLORE provides an early indicator of readiness for college, delivers important information for building a high school academic plan and helps students identify careers in which they might be interested.
PLAN serves as the midpoint check of academic progress in high school. It is designed to improve students’ preparation for education, training and work after high school while they still have time to adjust their high school courses.
Ron Benningfield is a correspondent for LaRue County Schools.
LaRue County Middle School EXPLORE scores/rankings out of 322 schools
English: 34, 89 percentile
Math: 54, 83 percentile
Reading: 31, 90 percentile
Science: 20, 94percentile
Composite: 27, 92 percentile
LaRue County High School PLAN scores/rankings out of 231 schools
English: 58, 75 percentile
Math: 54, 77 percentile
Reading: 68, 71 percentile
Science: 81, 65 percentile
Composite: 63, 73 percentile