Kentucky Improves in Education Performance, Lacks in “Chance for Success”

by Devin Katayama on January 12, 2012

Gov. Steve Beshear and the Kentucky Department of Education are celebrating a new report that ranks Kentucky 14th in education performance, but the chance for success for Kentucky students is still under par.

Education Week uses six indicators to rate a state’s education performance including: Chance for Success, K-12 Achievement, Standards/Assessments and Accountability, Transitions and Alignment,Teaching Profession, and School Finance.

Kentucky has received its highest overall score of the past five years, earning a C+ with 78.6 total points (US average, 76.3) and jumped from 34th to 14th. This is partly thanks to education reforms that were implemented this school year, according to Sterling Lloyd, senior research associate at Education Week’s publisher, Editorial Projects in Education.

But when it comes to the “Chance for Success” indicator, Lloyd said Kentucky ranks 36th.

“In other words Kentucky has implemented some very strong policy measures for K-12 education but the chance for success index also looks at early childhood and adult outcomes and some of those are based on historical outcomes and can take a while to change,” he said.

While scores for the six indicators fluctuate, areas that Kentucky scored well on, like accountability, finance and teacher support are likely to maintain, he said. The Commonwealth’s chance of success may take more time, said Lloyd.

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