An internal review of Warren County Public Schools’ efforts to promote equity in student academic achievement and its school discipline practices has revealed expansive gaps between student groups, with black students often falling the furthest behind their white peers.

Using 2018-19 state assessment data, WCPS’ fifth annual Equity Scorecard notes that many students face significant barriers to learning, with as much as 56 percent of the district’s total enrollment that year qualifying as “economically disadvantaged.” The full report may be read with this article at bgdailynews.com.

However, when it comes to black students’ performance on state tests for reading and math, they rank near the bottom compared to their white classmates in a trend that plays out across the elementary, middle school and high school levels.

For example, only 10.6 percent of the district’s black 11th-grade students were deemed to be meeting state mathematics standards at grade level when they took their state assessments during the 2018-19 school year.

Compare that to the same figure for white 11th-grade students – 46.3 percent – and the gulf between them is nearly 36 percentage points.

Nearly a quarter of the district’s black students are English learners, with many of them representing countries such as Tanzania, Congo, Uganda, Kenya and other African countries. Other English learner students represent several southeast Asian countries, including Myanmar and Thailand, among others.

English learner students in general also fell significantly behind when compared to all students in the aggregate.

In reading, for example, the percentage of third-, fourth- and fifth-grade English learner students who were meeting state standards at grade level during the 2018-19 school year was just below a quarter – 24.4 percent.

At the middle and high school levels, when students in general stop learning to read and read to learn, English learner students fell even further behind – only 4.3 percent were deemed to be at grade level when they took their 11th-grade reading test, the Equity Scorecard shows.

In explaining the Equity Scorecard’s findings Thursday to the district’s board of education, Director of English Learner programs Dee Anna Crump noted WCPS’ significant English learner student population. That includes many refugees, she said.

“We do have approximately 1,200 refugee students within our district, and many of those students have experienced either interrupted schooling … or very limited schooling at all when they come to us,” she said.

When an English learner student arrives at the district, students are exempt from the first year of state testing, “but then after that they do test just like all of the other students,” she said.

Taking stock of the report’s findings, WCPS Board Chairman Kerry Young noted that “(with) a lot of our gaps we’ve got within our district, we’re still higher than state.”

Young also made note of the district’s performance on “transition readiness,” a metric under the state’s accountability that states “students should be able to enter and succeed in entry level postsecondary courses without remediation or can enter the workforce possessing the knowledge and technical skills needed for employment in their desired career field,” according to the Kentucky Department of Education.

Thursday’s school board meeting also brought a decision about WCPS Superintendent Rob Clayton’s annual evaluation.

After meeting in closed session for about 45 minutes, the board members emerged and granted Clayton the top rating of “exemplary” across the two evaluated standards of instructional and cultural leadership. The high marks do not come with any change in compensation, with the exception of any raise the rest of the district’s staff has received, Young said in a follow-up text message.

– Follow education reporter Aaron Mudd on Twitter @BGDN_edbeat or visit bgdailynews.com.

Education reporter. Covers education and related issues, focusing primarily on the Bowling Green and Warren County public school districts and Western Kentucky University.

(5) comments

Econobot

I mean really, seriously, what kind of person expects to indoctrinate people into the culture and attitudes of South Africa -- without the associated human capital development activities... How they can rate the education culture exemplary is beyond me. Its blatantly obvious to anyone that isn't getting rich from bond offerings.

Econobot

BUT, lets be fair, its still not as bad as the independent school district. They are going to send home a bunch of chromebooks and tell all the poor kids in the innercity to have their baby sitters make sure they learn remotely. It's a complete race to the gutter in South Central Kentucky thanks to these two cabals, red for ed, dollars for the worst performance, and the Marxist indoctrination fiasco from masks. Anyone with a brain can look at Tennessee and know it's all a red for ed scheme to destroy the state for their socialist utopia where only the teachers can afford books to read bed time tales to children from on their government issued chromebooks since all the fathers gave up and left time to try and send money home like a latin American migrant family worker. That's their utopia. Big purple buses everywhere. They feel like high status rastafarians as they destroy the future for everyone. It is just so stinking horrible that's its absurd to watch. Where's the school boards? Why don't they just pick up the phones and say "you're fired" to these god awful school board tyrants going to force masks and chrome book education via babysitters. WTH is wrong with the leadership. All that isibindi garbage has wrecked their brains.

Econobot

But, word on the street is that the new school rating systems will mean they get more money next year for doing worse this one. It's only a matter of time before they make everybody wear masks, south Africa flags, and just send them home with a box of crayons and a list of dates to test their math skills for the next chance to get rewarded from Uncle Andy's future big rewards for big ed ed dollar trough.

Econobot

So the superintendent, with the 'excellent' rating who presided over South Africa idolization and word and phrase indoctrination, who now wants to convert his teachers to remote teachers with Google Goggles or something , and wants to put masks on all school students when cases are going down and fewer people died than the flue, and 60% of them in nursing homes, and while even Fauci said on national TV that masks wouldn't help -- you mean he's presiding over epic fail?! You mean the morons in charge of the school district who are willing to deprive entire generations of children of the development phase of learning facial expressions are terrible at education? Color me stinking shocked. Color me stinking shocked. They need to be in that 8 hour unemployment line along with the parents so they can figure out how to make a bunch of job seekers agree to attend school at home on certain hours while also having jobs. At least they are proving themselves horrible stewards in educational prowess as well as their hatred of America.

Enough Already

You and I don't always agree but you nailed this one!

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