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Positive Signs From Local School Test Scores, More Improvement Needed

By Brenna Angel / Tony McVeigh

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Keep up the good work, but do more of it. That's the message Superintendent Stu Silberman has for teachers and principals at Fayette County Public Schools. The state Department of Education released a variety of reports Thursday measuring student performance, including test results on Kentucky Core Content, No Child Left Behind, and college and career readiness.

"Our numbers are at record highs right now, but our goal is 100 percent of the kids to reach proficiency. So I'm talking about the pace; How long is it gonna take us to get every kid to proficiency, 100 percent? And we're moving in a good direction, but it's not fast enough."

Silberman says Fayette County saw its overall proficiency rate in reading, math, science, social studies, and writing increase by about two percent. Some sub-groups saw a four percent increase in proficiency.

At the statewide level, only about 56 percent of Kentucky schools met their goals under the federal No Child Left Behind Act last school year. The Education Department's Lisa Gross says the results aren't surprising because each year, schools must have more and more students reaching proficient levels in math and reading.

"What parents should be concerned about is how their own children are doing, number one. And number two, how well their school is doing. Are they making any progress in addressing all of the needs of every child in the school?"

Gross says the latest data also indicate that only 34-percent of public high school students in Kentucky are ready for college or careers. The percentages ranged from three percent to 81 percent statewide.