Common Core researcher visits JCPS classrooms - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Common Core researcher visits JCPS classrooms

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Jefferson County Public Schools are leading the way when it comes to implementing new educational standards, but so far some test scores are lower.  Educators who helped create the standards say JCPS is doing well across the board, but there's always room for improvement.

One of the national founders visited JCPS classrooms this week to determine how well the common core standards are being implemented and received.

"Based on the three schools I have been to today, there's less room for improvement here than in many places," said Common Core Researcher David Liben.

Results for overall performance show reading scores were down in elementary schools.  In middle schools, science scores also dropped. Math scores dropped for high schools as well.  The Kentucky School Report Card application ranked the district as a whole as needing improvement.  According to results for the 2013 Unbridled Learning Test Scores, around 4 percent of schools were deemed "Distinguished," while roughly 7 percent were ranked as "Distinguished/Progressing."

Five percent of schools in the district were labeled "Proficient" and 7 percent were "Proficient/Progressing."  Forty percent of schools in the district fell in the "Needs Improvement" category and 37 percent were "Needs Improvement/Progressing."

Experts say, concerning the overall performance, that's to be expected.

"Whenever a state changes its test, the scores go down," Liben said.

"This has been happening since we have been using reading tests, roughly in the 1950s."

The standards were adopted two years ago.  Even though Kentucky acted as a pioneer to take on the models that have been adopted by almost all 50 states, those who helped put them in place say it's a learning curve.  The superintendent says she knows the journey is far from over.

"We are absolutely committed to having our students master the more rigorous standards of the common core," said JCPS Superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens.

Liben will speak to around 150 principals to discuss how they can continue to improve.  The visit was made possible through a grant from the GE Foundation.

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