Jefferson County Public Schools has not met college and career readiness goals, joining 40 percent of school districts around Kentucky; but communication between students and the state has improved and now has a single focus.
This year’s new accountability system will focus on whether students are ready for life after high school. For some that means college; for others it means work. Students who are college and career ready are proficient on state-wide tests or earn a certificate from certain industry-related programs. School districts are expected to increase student readiness rates 50 percent over a 5-year period.
In Kentucky, 60 percent of schools have met their goals this year. Dr. Sue Cain is with the Kentucky Council on Post-Secondary Education, which gave input on what it means to be college and career ready.
“It is so systemic. It is so ‘on the ground’ level right now, that we will go up. I have no doubt in my mind that we will go forward,” said Cain.
Cain said it wasn’t always obvious what students were expected to know and communication between the council, the state’s education department and the schools has improved. This has led to an increase in student success, she said.
“We are now intentionally making sure that there is an understanding and a real highway of ideas going back between K-12 and post-secondary so we can close this college and career readiness gap,” Cain said.
JCPS has increased its rate of students who are college and career ready and now stands at 33 percent, but that is still short of its 38 percent goal for this year. It must reach a final goal of 66 percent by the 2014-2015 school year.
Kentucky adopted the new accountability system this year. It is among several initiatives in place to improve success.