Nearly 70% Of Eastern Kentucky School Districts Met No Child Left Behind Goals

By: Marie Luby Email
By: Marie Luby Email

Data released shows about 70 percent of the school districts in our region met all of their most recent goals under No Child Left Behind.

For the handful of schools that did not make the cut, it may not be an accurate reflection of students' progress.

The state as a whole met 20 of 25 target goals for No Child Left Behind.

Many educators, including here, say unfair testing and promised funding that never came left them behind.

Clay County fell short in reading proficiency among children with disabilities.

“You make accommodations for their disabilities all year long, but then you come into the NCLB and you test them as if they have no disabilities at all,” Clay County Superintendent Doug Adams said.

Clay County Superintendent Doug Adams says their students improved on CATS testing, but now they're scrambling to figure out where to concentrate resources to keep up with NCLB's rigid measurements.

“Really what you do, you rob Peter to pay Paul, in these circumstances,” Superintendent Adams said.

Here's another frustration: even if schools are improving over the years like Clay County, the longer they're not reaching the 100 percent mark, the lower their rank,”

Now that Clay County's in tier 3, they're at risk to lose their Title One funding.

Adams says NCLB is supposed to send extra funds to help under-performing schools, but he's never seen that money in his district.

Now he worries how teachers will take the news.

“Teacher morale and atmosphere is a big part of having good test scores,” Superintendent Adams said.

Resources are stretched even thinner this year, with an extra 250-thousand dollars budgeted for fuel.

Martin County Schools scored the lowest in our area. Superintendent Mark Blackburn says his district shares many of Clay County's problems with No Child Left Behind.

Officials say 70.9% of Kentucky schools made adequate yearly progress in the 2007-08 school year, down from the 78.7% of schools which made progress in the prior school year.

However, education department officials say a rise in reading and mathematics goals likely contributed to a lower percentage of schools making progress.

Other highlights of the No Child Left Behind report released by the Kentucky Department of Education include:

- 89.0% of elementary schools, 44.4% of middle schools and 33.3% of high schools in Kentucky met all their No Child Left Behind goals.

- 103 of 175 school districts (58.9%) in Kentucky met 100% of their No Child Left Behind Adequate Yearly Progress goals.

- Of the 337 schools (29.1%) in Kentucky that did not make Adequate Yearly Progress, 212 of these schools made 80% or more of their goals (122 of these schools met at least 90% or more of their goals). Overall, 1,032 schools in the state (89.2%) met 80% or more of their goals.

For more information, you can log onto the Kentucky Department of Education's web site at the link below.

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