New Test Scores Show Slight Improvement For FCPS

Sep 27, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Newly released statewide testing data shows some overall improvement for Fayette County Public Schools.

In fact, more FCPS students are meeting the internationally-benchmarked standards known as the “Common Core," but as Josh James reports, a stubborn achievement gap among minority students persists.

Fayette County Public Schools' overall 2013 score inched up 1.6 points from last year, reaching 59.8. That’s on a scale of 100 as determined by the state’s “Unbridled Learning” accountability system. Scores are calculated in the categories of achievement, growth, graduation rate, and other areas. Among those helping increase Fayette County’s score is Lafayette High School, which saw a 5.2 gain, moving it from a “Proficient” to “Distinguished” rating.

Kathy Smiley, a former PTA head at Lafayette, said parent and teacher involvement is key.

"My son was in the pre-engineering program.  If he needed help, the teachers have always been there for him.  He got some really good scholarships doing that program. 

Meanwhile, another high school that has struggled in the past is showing signs of improvement. Bryan Station High School principal Mike Henderson says keeping students focused on broader goals helped his school jump 24 spots ahead of its last rating, going from the 17th percentile to the 41st.

"The culture of academics and the idea that I'm not just here to graduate from high school, I'm here to have credentials that say I'm ready for college or I'm ready for a career when I leave...I think that culture has been more and more prevalent here in our school," Henderson told WUKY.

Still, 21 schools in Fayette County are labeled “Focus Schools,” meaning they serve groups of students that score well below minimum standards. Fayette County Superintendent Tom Shelton says Kentucky has yet to make significant progress closing the achievement gap for minority students, but newly adopted innovations are beginning to pay off.