KY education commissioner speaks on academic genocide - WDRB 41 Louisville News

KY education commissioner speaks on 'academic genocide'

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The state may be forced to "take over" the lowest performing JCPS schools after this summer.

The Kentucky Education Commissioner says some of the schools have had three years to show the progress the state wants and that's too slow.

A recent report shows only two of 18 troubled schools in JCPS meet the state's standards. It's a problem Terry Holliday described as "academic genocide."

"Only 40 percent of the kids are even graduating from high school, and less than 20 percent are ready for college or careers," explained Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holiday. "So, that's where the term 'academic genocide' came from."

He says any takeover decisions depend on new testing results and graduation rates not available until late spring.

JCPS superintendent Donna Hargens says the district shares a sense of urgency and that current efforts in those schools are showing progress.

Hargens responded Tuesday with a statement that said, in part: "Based on the current analysis of our daily work ... we believe we will see a positive impact on student outcomes."

On Monday, Hargens said, "I think everybody shares the sense of urgency that the commissioner does, so we share the common goal."

But Holliday wants to see better numbers soon. 

"It's one thing to have a sense of urgency," Holliday said. "It's something entirely else to get the results and get more kids graduating from high school, or college- and career-ready or just passing eighth grade reading."

"We can't wait much longer for these kids," Holliday said.

The latest state report, with data through the 2011-2012 school year, shows only two of 18 low-performing JCPS schools meet state standards for progress -- Fern Creek and Fairdale High Schools.

Another 11 are showing "some" progress.

And five more show what the state calls "zero" progress.

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