OWENSBORO, Ind. (WFIE) - Kentucky is debuting its new system of school ratings.
The 5-star system evaluates schools and school districts based on a number of factors to give a snapshot of where those students are in the education process.
The new system combines numerous factors and divides the report up into six categories. All of that data is compiled and stored in an online database.
The first category provides an overview of the school or school district by looking at attendance rates, whether or not a student is economically disadvantaged, and the demographic makeup. From there, the reports look at scoring on core educational topics, namely reading and math.
The report also accounts for what kind of educational opportunities that the school system has in place. Completion of advanced placement courses and career and technical education classes are also taken into account with this report.
The fourth category takes a look at “transitional readiness." The data is compiled to show graduation rates for each school, and a comparison between how students with different race and economic backgrounds transition from high school into college or the workforce.
School safety is also taken into account by analyzing the number of behavior related events that take place inside the school or school system and by looking at disciplinary actions taken by the school.
Finally, financial transparency provides a look at the money coming in and out of the school ranging from taxes to state funding. That data will be available in June of 2020.
Dr. Matthew Constant with Owensboro Public Schools says the new system allows administrators to address issues, and it provides a level of transparency for parents as well. However, Constant warns that looking just at the star rating could be a bad indicator of all that the school has to offer.
“While every organization, including schools, need a benchmark for progress in where we are and where we need to go, we want to caution the community that this five-star rating should not be seen like a Yelp five-star rating," Constant said. “One school’s three-star is not another school’s three-star because of all the calculations that go into making it so parents in our community really need to become more informed by going to that school report card site which will show where those gaps might be. Is it in achievement? Is it in proficiency? Is it in graduation rate, transition rate?”
The new system became active on October 1, 2019.