Superintendent calls FCPS performance on KDE report ‘unacceptable’

Superintendent calls FCPS performance on KDE report ‘unacceptable’
Published: Oct. 18, 2022 at 10:01 AM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - We’re getting a look at how Kentucky students are performing in the classrooms for the first time in three years.

In 2020, the General Assembly made changes to how the state test Kentucky students, and, this year, the Kentucky Department of Education released a new color-coded system to outline those results.

Statewide, the test scores show most of Kentucky’s schools ranking in the middle. Of the more than a thousand schools tested, just 98 received the highest ranking. On the flip side, only 64 schools received the lowest ranking.

Kentucky Education Commissioner Dr. Jason Glass says this is disappointing, but not unexpected. He says the pandemic hurt students in the short run, but the effects of distance learning are going to continue being felt.

“There is no quick fix to the challenges our students endured during the pandemic,” Dr. Glass said. “It’s going to take time and it’s going to take resources.”

That plays out in the stats. Statewide, the four-year graduation rate dropped for a second straight year to 89.9%, the first time it’s been under 90% in the last five years. The five-year graduation rate also dropped for the first time in five years.

Composite ACT Scores did rebound slightly after they dropped a full point last year. They’re now sitting at 18.3.

In Fayette County, schools are performing above the rest of the state at every level, but they’re still firmly fixed in the orange with 21 schools above the middle tier, 24 below it and 12 in the middle.

Superintendent Dr. Demetrus Liggins says that’s unacceptable.

“We own this data and we are taking responsibility for changing it,” Dr. Liggins said. “More of the same is not the answer, and we are working to ensure that our students receive an experience at FCPS that is going to impact their learning not only in the immediate future, but the long-time future.”

Dr. Liggins did say that Fayette County Public Schools offers more to students than what you can see on a test, but, at the same time, he acknowledged these scores do affect students and their families and said the district is committed to bringing those scores up.

School Board Chair Tyler Murphy echoed that message from Dr. Liggins. In a Facebook post, he said that an overall school rating cannot capture the enriching learning environments, the love, and the material services like food and health care that Fayette County Public Schools provides.

He said the board has committed investments for improvement as part of their “new way forward” strategic plan.