Kentucky’s college and career readiness rates

Many national rankings put Kentucky near the bottom in categories such as obesity, poverty, heart disease, diabetes, high tobacco use, poor test scores, etc.

It’s a sad reality, and we hope in coming years that Kentucky can improve in these areas. In the meantime, when our state is recognized for positive things, those involved should be recognized and congratulated.

For instance, 112 school districts in Kentucky need to be recognized for a well-earned accomplishment.

Five years ago, every school district in the state signed the Commonwealth Commitment to College and Career Readiness, which tasked districts with increasing their rates of college and career readiness by 50 percent over five years.

Five years later, many districts have reached or surpassed their goals, in some cases by 50 percent. Area districts that reached or surpassed this goal include Warren County Public Schools, Glasgow Independent Schools, Caverna Independent Schools, and the Simpson, Butler, Edmonson, Hart, Logan, Monroe and Metcalfe districts.

For example, Glasgow High School raised its CCR rate from 36 percent in the 2009-10 school year to 78.4 percent in the 2014-15 school year. Warren County Public Schools met its goal of raising its CCR rating by 50 percent, increasing it from 36 percent in the 2009-10 school year to 69.4 percent last school year. Simpson County went from 35 percent to 91.6 percent, which was well above its goal.

These are just three examples of school districts that excelled in the CCR, but we are sure the other school districts mentioned also fared very well.

In April 2011, the state education department said 34 percent of Kentucky’s public high school students were college ready in 2010. That number rose to 66.9 during the 2014-15 school year.

The importance of this is that by improving these numbers, students entering colleges will be better prepared once they begin their college careers.

Behind the improvement in these numbers is the hard work of faculty and students at these school districts. Warren County Public Schools took an approach that proved beneficial. The school system hired a intervention teacher at all four high schools, working with the students who hadn’t managed to reach certain mandatory benchmarks on standardized tests like the ACT or the COMPASS and help them achieve those goals. The district also worked to develop its area resource center, where students can take classes in fields that include welding, automotive technology, health science and information technology.

It’s obvious in these numbers that the hiring of the specialists paid off.

The achievements of these school districts are remarkable. Smart strategies paid off, and many more students will be much more prepared when they enter college or vocational schools, which will work to their advantage.

Bowling Green Daily News

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