Kentucky Department of Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis responded to questions raised by educators by creating a group of key stakeholders from across the Commonwealth to review the state’s current growth calculation methods and make recommendations for how to improve it before the release of school accountability data next fall.
The Growth Indicator Work Group held its first meeting yesterday in Frankfort.
The growth factor measures whether Kentucky students are on track to reach the goal of proficient in reading and mathematics. The growth factor is part of the new accountability system that was developed with input from Kentucky educators and residents in 2016 and 2017. It was approved by the Kentucky Board of Education in February 2018.
“The implementation of any new accountability system comes with questions and challenges,” Lewis said. “Across the state, most of the questions and concerns shared with the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) pertained to our methodology for calculating student growth.”
Specifically, KDE has received questions concerning whether the methodology used is appropriate, and how educators should interpret and use results from the growth indicator to inform and/or improve their practice, he said.
“I share some of the concerns voiced by educators,” Lewis said. “I would like our growth measure to be relatively easy to explain and understand, while also appropriate for school accountability purposes and informing of educators’ practice. I thank the members of this work group in advance for their willingness to tackle this issue, and I look forward to receiving their recommendations.”
The Growth Indicator Work Group has 15 members from across the state including superintendents, district assessment coordinators, principals, teachers and a data management specialist. Daviess County District Assessment Coordinator and Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, Jana Beth Francis was the work group member selected to represent Daviess County.
“Participating in the Growth Advisory group allows me the opportunity to help shape how accountability will be for the Commonwealth,” Francis said. “Commissioner Lewis continues to listen and respond to concerns from educators. This advisory group hopes to provide refinement to the growth indicator and consider how accountability will help guide school improvement.”