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Kentucky Makes Education Gains, SREB Report Says

News From SREB | Press Release
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Beth Day, SREB Director of Communications
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The Southern Regional Education Board works with 16 member states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Based in Atlanta, SREB was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislatures to help leaders in education and government advance education and improve the social and economic life of the region.

Kentucky Outperforms Nation in Reading and Math, Makes Other Education Gains, SREB Report Says

Atlanta, Georgia - June 26, 2012 - Kentucky improved public education by several key measures in the last decade, according to a new report from the Southern Regional Education Board.

Across the region, SREB states led the nation in gains since 2002 in areas such as student reading and math achievement and high school graduation rates. And they made this progress during the long economic downturn, rising child poverty rates, and rapid growth of an increasingly diverse population.

A Decade of Progress is a landmark look back at each state’s and the region’s education achievements since the states adopted 12 ambitious Challenge to Lead Goals for Education in 2002. Among the highlights:

  • Kentucky’s fourth-graders outperformed the nation in reading and math at the Basic level on the National Assessment of Educational Progress in 2011. In reading, 72 percent of the state’s fourth-graders scored at or above the Basic level, compared with 65 percent of their U.S. peers. In math, 85 percent of Kentucky fourth-graders scored at or above NAEP Basic, topping 82 percent in the nation.
  • Kentucky also led the nation in fourth-grade math improvement at the Basic and Proficient levels on NAEP from 2003 to 2011. The percentage of Kentucky fourth-graders who scored at or above the Basic level in math rose 13 points over the period, while the nation rose 6 points.
  • Kentucky’s eighth-graders outperformed the nation in reading on NAEP. In 2011, 79 percent of the state’s eighth-graders scored at or above the NAEP Basic level, compared with 75 percent of their U.S. peers.
  • The percentages of fourth- and eighth-graders in Kentucky who scored at or above the NAEP Proficient level in reading also exceeded the national rates for their peers in 2011.
  • Kentucky’s black and Hispanic fourth-graders narrowed achievement gaps with white students in reading and math at the NAEP Basic level from 2003 to 2011.
  • Kentucky’s black eighth-graders narrowed the achievement gap in reading and math over the period.
  • Kentucky’s high school graduation rate topped the regional and national rates. Kentucky’s on-time graduation rate was 78 percent in 2009, surpassing 76 percent in the nation and 75 percent in the SREB region.
  • Kentucky’s black students narrowed the gap with white students on high school graduation by 2 percentage points from 1999 to 2009.
 
“These gains
 are an important step forward and confirm that many of the policies Kentucky has adopted are making a difference,” said SREB President Dave Spence. “Education has been a top priority for SREB states. The challenge ahead is to focus on what we know works to improve public education.”

Kentucky: A Decade of Progress details the state’s demographic and income changes, school performance standards, pre-K through postsecondary student achievement, adult learning and job training, and more. Download the full PDF here.

The Southern Regional Education Board works with 16 member states to improve public education: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Based in Atlanta, SREB was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislatures to help leaders in education and government advance education and improve the social and economic life of the region.

SREB tracks progress of its 16 member states on the Challenge to Lead Goals for Education, adopted by state leaders to help the region lead the nation in educational progress at all levels.

In addition to these state-by-state reports, in the coming weeks SREB will release analyses of region-wide progress on student achievement in NAEP scores, high school graduation rates and college completion trends. SREB expects to announce updated Goals for Education in September.

 
Kentucky: A Decade of Progress

 
© 2012 Southern Regional Education Board. All rights reserved.
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