FAYETTE CO., Ky. (WKYT) - The Department of Education released performance scores for Kentucky schools Friday.
The scores rank schools based on their student's performance on tests. Fayette county has several schools near the top of the list, along with some near the bottom, but one school in particular is working it's way up from rock bottom.
From Principal Mike Henderson, dealing with bad test scores is not out of the ordinary.
"A lot of kids who just went to school for no purpose, fighting a lot of skipping, you see a lot of smoking and things like that," describes Henderson, "it wasn't really a tradition to learn to get good test scores."
But Principal Henderson has a history of turning schools with low state test records around.
"The culture in this school has completely changed," Henderson says. "We were at the third percentile, that's when we hit rock bottom."
In Henderson's three years at the helm at Bryan Station High School, test scores have increased by 38%. But Henderson knows his school still has a long way to go. It still ranks last when compared to other high schools in the city. Henderson compares the fight to other common struggles.
"If you're trying to lose weight, its not going to be good you know you just don't drop fifty pounds just like that."
As Principal Henderson explains, there is no exact formula for transforming test scores, but he believes teachers need to have a hands on approach and schools need to be fun again. Henderson says they have regular celebrations for academic success.
"If you want growth you meet the needs of your kids," Henderson explains, "you're here for them and you'll do what it takes to get them to those bench marks then the kids will perform for you."
Although the school test scores are classified as 'needs improvement,' students at Bryan Station feel good about themselves and the direction they are heading.