Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

February 8, 2013

Area schools showing signs of improvement

FRANKFORT — Three area schools listed as being among the lowest performing in the state have made acceptable progress toward improving their curriculum, teaching and test scores, according to a report the Kentucky Board of Education discussed this week.

Greenup County, Lawrence County, and East Carter high schools are on the list of priority schools, previously called persistently low achieving schools, which the state is requiring to make dramatic changes to improve.

The schools also receive state grants to hire educational recovery specialists who oversee improvement efforts.

The report showed that East Carter and Greenup County showed growth for 50 percent or more of students, that East Carter had double-digit gains in college and career readiness, and that Greenup County’s college and career readiness trend increased steadily.

It indicated that all three schools showed gains in their ACT scores in various areas and that Greenup County was above the state average in mathematics. All three schools had graduation rates above the 60 percent mark and all three showed gains in graduation rates. Greenup’s and East Carter’s graduation rates were above the state average.

Greenup County and East Carter had proficiency levels of 50 percent or better. East Carter is considered a proficient school. All three are above the state level in proficiency.

All three also are above the state fifth percentile, which was the benchmark under which they were labeled as low achieving.

All three have shown improvement in closing subgroup gaps, which are gaps in achieving between students as a whole and groups such as disabled children or children who qualify for free and reduced-price lunches.

However, none of the three performed at or above the state percentage for growth, and Lawrence County’s college and career readiness gain was sluggish, in single digits since it was placed in the low-achieving group.

Greenup County and Lawrence County remain in the category of needing improvement.

Improvement at East Carter comes from staff cooperation with the improvement plan, principal Larry Kiser said. “The faculty and staff embraced the plan. That’s part of our success,” he said.

Educational recovery experts launched new programs and interventions and teachers welcomed them, he said.

Among initiatives are web-based math programs and longer periods for interventions, he said.

“Students are catching the fever now. Our seniors this year know last year’s college and career readiness and they are striving to beat that this year. It’s like a friendly competition,” Kiser said.

Greenup County’s improvement has been dramatic and encouraging, from the 5th percentile level when the process started to 42nd this year, said assessment director Diana Whitt. “We are close to proficiency now, and our goal this year is to exceed proficiency,” she said.

Some of the improvement is due to the success of Greenup County’s innovative math program under the direction of Eastern Kentucky University professor Robert Thomas, who visits the district regularly to work with teachers, she said.

Lawrence County is now focusing on its gap scores, Superintendent Mike Armstrong said. The school has developed a “hot list” of students who need math and reading intervention. “We use the data to identify the students who need extra attention,” and offer them content-specific intervention, he said.

The schools will write sustainability plans for the next three years, including goals and steps to be taken the next year, and will review their ability to sustain improvement after the educational recovery staffers leave.

MIKE JAMES can be reached at mjames@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2652.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 0723copshots1.JPG Focus on law enforcement

    Members of several local and regional law enforcement agencies hit the streets of downtown Ashland Tuesday armed with digital cameras and assignment sheets as they completed in-service photography instruction through the Department of Criminal Justice.

    July 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • Obama admin. says health subsidies will continue

    A federal appeals court delivered a potentially serious setback to President Barack Obama's health care law Tuesday, imperiling billions of dollars in subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who bought policies.

    July 22, 2014

  • State’s longest trail system turns 35

    The Sheltowee Trace was officially dedicated as part of the National Recreation Trail system in 1979. After 35 years, the trail remains Kentucky’s longest distance trail, estimated at 307 miles.
     

    July 21, 2014

  • Pancake releases new album

    The top of the Sky Tower in downtown Ashland was booming Saturday night with music from Larry Pancake’s new album “Fair Weather Friend.”
     

    July 21, 2014

  • Telephone scammer fleeces man of $5,000

    A telephone scammer claimed another area victim when a Williams Avenue man paid $5,000 after the con artist told him he had won a sweepstakes but had to pay taxes on the prize money before collecting it, according to Ashland Police Department reports.
     

    July 21, 2014

  • Murder defendant pleads guilty on lesser charge, sentenced to 8 years

    One of four charged with murder in a 2008 double killing pleaded guilty to a lesser charge Monday just before his trial was to start.

    July 21, 2014

  • MIA Rush Marine to rest in Arlington

    Finding Dottie McCoy’s uncle after 71 years was the biggest part of the struggle.

    July 21, 2014

  • Morehead gets Trail Town status

    It has been two and a half years in the making and it happens today.
    Morehead will officially be designated a Kentucky Trail Town following Dawson Springs and Livingston.

    July 21, 2014

  • Fallsburg’s traditional haunt attracts unique talents

    Brian Cassidy said there is no substitute for individual talent while tackling tasks ranging from sculpting a massive hillbilly to inventing paintball gun brackets capable of withstanding the pressures caused by an incoming zombie attack.

    July 21, 2014

  • Local in brief: 7/22/14

    The Kentucky Interagency Coordination Center on Sunday mobilized two fire crews to assist with firefighting efforts in the western United States.

    July 21, 2014