Before the education reform act of 1990, Kentucky was ranked near the bottom of the list when compared to other states. Now our state has become a model for reform and has made significant jumps in almost all rankings related to education and student achievement. All Washington County schools have made significant academic progress during the past several years. This progress has been documented and measured by increasing scores on both state and national assessments. It has been proven by non-academic measures such as; retention rates, attendance rates and successful transitions to adult life. Although Washington County can be proud of these achievements, we also know that there is still much work to be done to meet the needs of all students.
Senate Bill 1 became law on Thursday. This law will change the very nature of school and district accountability at the state level. Some of these changes take place immediately. Writing Portfolios, Arts/Humanities and Practical Living/Vocational Studies will no longer be a part of state accountability. The state will not provide funding for scoring the assessments. Also, during the three-year interim period, while new standards and assessments are developed by the Kentucky Department of Education, schools will no longer be given an accountability index that compares schools with other schools in the state.
Washington County Schools has decided to assess and score the Arts/Humanities and Practical Living/Vocational Studies Assessments. The data from these assessments will not only validate the work of the students and staff but will also provide the schools and the district with valuable information to improve instruction and plan future programs. Accountability and data-driven decision-making will still play a major role in strengthening the quality of instruction for students in the Washington County School District.
Again, Washington County will continue to assess students for the ’08-’09 school year in the areas of writing portfolios, Arts/Humanities and Practical Living/Vocational Studies. Your continued patience and support during this interim period of accountability in Kentucky will be appreciated. Our kids are our most valuable asset and they deserve our very best every day.
Director of Curriculum
Washington County School District