2007 CATS Scores Released; Elementary Students Score Well In Reading; CHECK YOUR SCHOOL

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Most of the 428 thousand Kentucky students
who took the reading portion of government-mandated achievement

tests in April scored either "proficient" or "distinguished,"
the highest ratings awarded.

That's good news in a state that's on a push to improve its
academic standings.

Spokeswoman Lisa Gross of the Kentucky Department of Education
says the state has put greater focus on reading for a few years

now, and the results are showing up in the scores. She says the
emphasis is because a good foundation in reading translates into

greater achievement in other areas too.

Of the elementary students tested in
reading, 72 percent scored
in proficient and distinguished ranges. Amond middle school
students, 66 percent were at the proficient or distinguished
levels. And for high school students, 60 percent tested proficient

or distinguished in reading.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights

Exerpt from the KED website

(FRANKFORT, Ky.) -- Results from the 2007 administration of the Kentucky
Core Content Tests (KCCT) show that scores for all grade levels and subject
areas are moving toward proficient levels.

from the April 2007 administration of the KCCT, the primary component of the
Commonwealth Accountability Testing System (CATS), were released today. Nonacademic
data, which also is a component of school and district accountability indices,
was released in May.

More than
400,000 students in grades 3-12 participate in the annual assessments, which
cover seven subject areas: reading, mathematics, science, social studies, arts & humanities,
practical living/vocational studies and writing. Schools are held accountable
for their students’ performance on the tests and for nonacademic factors,
such as dropout, attendance and retention rates.

There were a number of changes to the testing and accountability system that affect the
data reported for the 2007 administration:

  • The Kentucky Core Content
    Test (KCCT) was based on a revised Core Content for Assessment 4.1.

  • The KCCT used a new test design.

  • Assessments in on-demand
    writing and practical living/vocational studies were moved to new grades.

  • Assessments in reading
    and mathematics were added to accomplish annual testing of those content
    areas in grades 3-8 as required by No Child Left Behind.

  • Legislative requirements
    were passed that Kentucky public school students participate in the ACT and
    its companions, PLAN and EXPLORE.

  • The Alternate Assessment
    program was revised and includes three components: Portfolios, Attainment
    Tasks and Transition Attainment Record. Separate scores are reported for
    each content area.


  • These changes required that Kentucky examine the student performance standards
    that define the student performance categories of novice, apprentice, proficient
    and distinguished (NAPD). During the summer of 2007, Kentucky teachers participated
    in standard-setting processes for the Kentucky Core Content Test and the
    Alternate Assessment program. Existing standards were validated, or standards
    were set for new assessments. The standard-setting process yielded new cut
    scores that identify when a student moves from one performance level category
    to another.

Because of the multiple changes to the assessment and accountability program,
the National Technical Advisory Panel on Assessment and Accountability (NTAPAA)
felt a statistical process to link old CATS (2000-2006) and new CATS (2007)
was necessary and appropriate.

Since the Kentucky Board of Education wished to keep accountability index
targets in place and that state-level trends in accountability indices are
stable over time, NTAPAA proposed the use of a concordance approach that would
link the old and new CATS and allows Kentucky to compare two different tests
from two different years.

With concordance, the accountability index in 2007 is linked to the original
goals schools are expected to meet every two years, which keeps accountability
moving forward. The concordance link is made at the accountability index level
only. School baselines are not recalculated, and growth lines are not redrawn.

The data reported today will include nonadjusted and adjusted accountability
index scores, content-area scores and overall nonacademic indices. Both the
nonadjusted and adjusted index scores provide valuable information, depending
on whether they are used for accountability or instruction.

  • The Adjusted
    Accountability Index
    continues accountability. It links the 2007
    performance to the past system. The score is related to the performance
    trends, the original goal and assistance lines in a school’s or district’s
    growth chart. 


  • The Nonadjusted
    Accountability Index and Content Area Indices
    provide the connection
    to the absolute goal of proficiency (100) by 2014. It is the first instructional
    look at the current position of a school or district compared to absolute
    goal of proficiency. Nonadjusted data is calculated for 2007 using new
    content area weights and new cut scores for student performance (novice,
    apprentice, proficient and distinguished).

  • Through data analysis, schools and districts can focus on instruction
    with the future in mind and celebrate the good work that has occurred by
    focusing on two data purposes — accountability and instruction.

performance is categorized with four levels: novice, apprentice, proficient
and distinguished. The lowest percentages of novices by subject area are in
writing at the elementary level (4.27 percent); reading at the middle school
level (5.83 percent); and reading at the high school level (5.01 percent).

The highest
percentages of proficient and above scores by subject area are in reading at
the elementary level (72.71 percent); reading at the middle level (66.31 percent);
and arts & humanities at the high school level (69.25 percent).

are expected to meet unique, overall goals every two years, with the ultimate
goal of 100 – proficiency – on a 140-point scale by 2014. The accountability
index scores for 2007 will be combined and averaged with those in 2008 to determine
if schools have met their unique goals.

information about individual school and district scores is available here.

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