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Takeaways From Jefferson County Public Schools' State Test Results

Jefferson County Public Schools performed better than half of Kentucky's school districts in 2013-14 state test results released Friday morning.JCPS moved from the 35th percentile in last year's resultsto the 51st percentile this year. You can search results for schools and school districts here.This is the third year for the state's Unbridled Learning test results, though this year's includednew measurements for topics such as arts and humanities. JCPS, Kentucky's largest school district, also met its overall goal set by the state.But the results also pointed to familiar struggles—lower scores in math, and middle school performance continues to lag.“I would say the overall theme is we’re moving and improving. So we’re seeing improvement in all of our subgroups and at a faster rate than the year before," JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens said.“Are we satisfied with the overall proficiency level of some of our subgroups? No. But are we making progress at a steady rate? Yes."Here are some takeaways from the overall report:College and career readiness has improved: In JCPS, high schools have a 60.5 percent college and career readiness rate, according to the state's data. This rate (determined by certain tests and certificates students can earn) has steadily climbed since implementation of the state’s accountability system in the 2011-2012 school year.Achievement on tests has improved, but only about half of JCPS students are proficient in reading and math (Note: the number refers to the percentage of students scoring at “proficient” or “distinguished” levels.)

  • Reading Elementary: 49; Middle: 45.3; High 50.9
  • Math Elementary: 47.1; Middle: 36.8; High: 37.3

While showing some gains, “gap” students did not meet their reading and math targets. White students did meet their targets. "Gap" students—as in "achievement gap"—historically test lower than the overall student body and the group is closely watched by the federal government and the state. "Gap" students include students who are African-American, Hispanic, Native American, disabled, live in poverty or who have limited English skills. 

  • Reading: Elementary: 39 percent (Compared with 49 percent of all students)
  • Math: 37.4 percent math. (Compared with 47.1 percent of all students)

Graduation rate: JCPS has improved its rate from 76.5 to 79 percent. The state average also improved from 86 to is 87.4. If these rates seem higher than previous years, it’s because Kentucky (and every other state) has moved to a more accurate graduation rate calculation.WFPL's Jacob Ryan contributed to this story.

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