Under the No Child Left Behind Act, every student in each and every school across the nation is expected to perform at the highest level in reading and math by the year 2014. "Every child at the school must be that way and if they aren't, you are considered a failure," said Bob Rodosky, the Executive Director of Accountability, Research and Planning with JCPS.
As we get closer to 2014, target goals are set each year, so schools will eventually reach 100 percent. Fewer than half of Kentucky's public schools are meeting their academic goals with test scores. Just 27 out of 133 JCPS schools actually met their goals this year.
For the remaining schools, JCPS says it does not look so good. "I really am not optimistic that we can catch the schools up," said Rodosky.
Bob Rodosky with JCPS says the average school in Kentucky progresses by 2-3% each year, a much slower rate than expected by the national goals. "The reading goal is going up 6% a year, and the math goal is going up 10 % a year," he says. Schools aren't progressing that fast, which means bad news for next year: "You'll almost have the same kind of report next year," said Rodosky.
Shawnee, Valley, and Western High Schools had some of the lowest scores on the Kentucky Core Content Test. "It is disturbing, we need to really go and do a thorough analysis as to what happened," said Rodosky.
Only 4% of Shawnee students performed at the proficient level in some areas. But concerned parents do have some options under the No Child Left Behind Act. Their child may have the choice to be tutored or transferred to another school if their current school has not met goals for at least two straight years.
JCPS says they will work with the under-performing schools to improve education. "When you think that you have finally figured out how to improve test scores, the results come in and it shows that you haven't quite figured it out yet," said Rodosky.