The Department of Assessment is responsible for the use of testing systems to measure academic and non-academic achievement. Testing in Paducah includes annual state required testing for accountability and district wide testing for the purpose of measuring continuous progress.
In Kentucky, all public schools participate in the new accountability model: Unbridled Learning – College/Career Readiness for All. In this model, students take the Kentucky Performance for Educational Progress (K-PREP) assessments. The K-PREP includes testing in all subject areas at least once at each level of school - elementary, middle and high school. The new assessment for grades 3-8 is a blended model built with norm-referenced and criterion-referenced test items which consists of multiple-choice, extended-response, and short answer items in reading, on-demand writing, math, science, social studies. At the high school, students will take ACT’s QualityCore® End of Course assessments in English 10, algebra II, biology, and United States history along with on-demand writing assessments their sophomore and junior years.
Students in secondary grades take other norm-referenced tests as required as part of K-PREP. Those tests include the EXPLORE at grade 8, PLAN at grade 10 and the ACT at grade 11. EXPLORE and PLAN are administered in September 17-28, 2012 and the ACT is administered March 5 with a make-up day on March 19, 2013.
Arts, practical living and writing portfolio assessments are no longer part of the student assessment. Those areas will be assessed through program reviews which go into effect starting in the Fall of 2012. Students with severe cognitive learning disabilities take the Alternate K-PREP Tests instead of the KCCT. Those tests are part of the schools' accountability, too. In 2012 and beyond, the K-PREP tests will be administered in a five day consecutive window the last fourteen days of the school year.
In addition, Limited English Students, those students whose primary language is not English, take the W-APT as a language placement test when they first arrive in Kentucky schools. Annually, then, the ACCESS test is administered as an achievement test each year they are in the LEP program. Schools and districts are accountable for their progress as well. The ACCESS test is administered to individual students from January 1 through February 8, 2013.
In addition to academic progress, schools are rated on their non-academic data. That includes attendance, retention, drop out and graduation rates.
Finally, to assist teachers in meeting accountability requirements, the district hosts a continuous assessment, Star Reading and Star Math assessments, two or three times a year for grades K-11. Star is a software based assessment that gives immediate feedback to staff about student, school and district progress. Students are tested in reading and math in grades K-11. This continuous assessment helps teachers know which students need assistance throughout the school year as they prepare for the accountability tests.
Students taking Advanced Placement classes at the high school level are strongly encouraged to take the Advanced Placement tests.
More detailed information is available on the Kentucky Department of Education website; click on the Unbridled Learning logo on the left side.
Will Black, Assistant Superintendent Phone: 444-5600