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State Scores Show Targeted Fayette Elementary Schools Improving

Karyn Czar

Six of the seven Fayette County Schools singled out for state intervention over test scores have moved out of that status, but decision-making at the schools will remain with the district superintendent.

Last year, seven elementary schools – Arlington, Coventry Oak, Harrison, Mary Todd, Millcreek, William Wells Brown, and Yates – were deemed in need of Comprehensive Support and Intervention, frequently abbreviated as CSI.

This year, state test scores show all but William Wells Brown emerging from that category.

"We are pleased to see those gains, but we also have to keep those labels in perspective as just one more piece of information to help complete the picture of student success in Fayette County Public Schools," said Fayette Superintendent Manny Caulk.

District officials are crediting targeted improvements at the schools. Decision-making at the affected schools shifted from school-based councils to the superintendent after they were given the CSI label, but Caulk says, despite the rising scores, the authority will remain with his office to ensure that the schools don’t backslide.

"We have a turnaround team... that will continue to implement those plans through the duration of that turnaround plan, which is three years," Caulk explained. 

This year, schools were ranked using a 1-5 star rating, which the superintendent said is not meant to be punitive but rather to start conversations. Some schools, including Lafayette and Dunbar High Schools, received lowered ratings due to “statistically significant” achievement gaps.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.