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Kentucky’s Low Achieving Schools Gets Another Year of Federal Funds

Kentucky’s low-achieving schools are receiving another round of federal School Improvement Grant funding.

Forty-one Kentucky schools have been called persistently low-achieving under the No Child Left Behind standards, and they can use the federal SIG funds to implement models to help turn around student achievement. Only the first cohort, or group, of schools deemed low-achieving was guaranteed a full three years of federal support.

The $8.4 million announced this week will support nearly twelve schools state-wide in the second group of schools, including seven JCPS schools.

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JCPS Expects Vote on Thomas Jefferson Middle Turn Around Model

Thomas Jefferson Middle School has decided how it’ll turn around student achievement after being labeled persistently low achieving last year.

The school was named in the latest round of low-achieving schools according to the federal government’s No Child Left Behind standards. Thomas Jefferson Middle’s School-Based Decision Making council was allowed to choose one of four turnaround models, which included closing the school or handing over management, two options that have not been popular with the district.

The Jefferson County Board of Education will vote whether to approve the recommendation at tonight’s meeting.

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Low-Achieving JCPS Schools May Have More Options

The five persistently low-achieving (PLA) Jefferson County public schools may soon have more options for turning around student performance.

Congress is proposing amendments to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, which would give states more flexibility in turning around schools. The changes also scrap the adequate yearly progress (AYP) standards, which many educators say are difficult to meet.

Last week Kentucky released 19 more PLA schools per NCLB; five schools are from JCPS.

PLA schools choose one of four turnaround models to increase student performance: re-staff, close, handover management, or a school transformation model. JCPS has chosen to re-staff its teachers for the first two cohorts of PLA schools. Superintendent Donna Hargens has not yet announced what she plans for the third group, but changes to NCLB could affect her decision.

One amendment that was approved allows states to propose their own turnaround model to the U.S. Secretary of Education. Some committee Democrats were concerned a state model wouldn’t be stringent enough, but the amendment gained support from Republicans and the National Education Association.