ACT leading investigation into Louisville Male High School - WDRB 41 Louisville News

ACT leading investigation into Louisville Male High School

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The nonprofit organization in charge of the ACT college admissions test is investigating a matter having to do with testing procedures at Male High School.

Officials with Jefferson County Public Schools and the Kentucky Department of Education confirmed the investigation but would not comment further.

Male Principal David Mike did not return multiple calls from WDRB.

ACT is leading the investigation with the Kentucky Department of Education also participating,  education department spokeswoman Nancy Rodriguez said.

The investigation has to do with ACT Compass, which is not the traditional ACT test but a separate assessment that measures what students have learned in certain subjects for placing them in the appropriate college courses.

In Kentucky, Compass is one of several assessments schools can use to help determine "college and career readiness," which is one of the areas the state considers as part of its Unbridled Learning assessment system, according to Rodriguez.

Male earned an overall score of 78.9 on the state's 0-100 accountability system during 2012-13, ranking it among the top 1 percent of Kentucky high schools and earning it a "distinguished" classification. More than 86 percent of Male's 377 graduates last year were college or career ready, compared to 51 percent for Jefferson County Public Schools as a whole, according to state data.

The Kentucky Department of Education declined to release records related to the investigation under an exemption in the state open records law. The department's response indicated the investigation involves an "administrative adjudication" regarding the protocols Kentucky schools should follow when administering tests. (Read the department's response letter here).

ACT investigates matters "involving test security situations or testing impropriety" at schools that administer ACT assessments, said Ed Colby, spokesman for the Iowa City, Iowa-based ACT organization. ACT does not comment on individual investigations, he said.

ACT Compass tests are typically taken by students who want to demonstrate how they have improved in certain subjects since taking the regular ACT, Colby said. Students can take Compass "modules" for individual subjects, like math or reading, he said.

"It's only really for placement purposes; it's not an admissions test," Colby said.

In addition to helping determine college and career readiness, high schools can use Compass tests to place students into dual-credit courses that will earn them college credits, among other purposes, Rodriguez said.

The president of Male's parent-teacher association, Karen Moreland, said she was unaware of the investigation.

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822, at cotts@wdrb.com or on Twitter @christopherotts. Copyright 2014 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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