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State is implementing new public school accountability testing

This year 2011-12 (spring 2012 testing), Adair students will complete Unbridled Learning Component No. 1, Next-Generation Learners. This is the K-PREP Test (in the past known as the KCCT).

When school resumes in January, Adair County teachers and school leaders will intensify their efforts towards implementing parts of a new state assessment accountability system known as the Kentucky Performance Rating for Education Progress (K-PREP). The new testing program will replace KCCT during the spring of this academic year as part of a three-year phase-in process.

K-PREP is a blended testing and accountability model based on a nationally standardized test (NRT) and criterion-referenced test (CRT) which is customized for Kentucky students. The purpose of these assessments is to identify the strengths and areas needing improvement for each student as well as for each school and the district. Schools and district will be rewarded or receive state assistance depending upon how well schools perform.

According to Phyllis Curry, Supervisor of Instruction, the K-PREP test will be pencil and paper in format, comprised of a test booklet. The test will require two hours per content area to complete, and will be given over 5 consecutive days out of a 14 day test window.

The NRT is a purchased test with national norms (Stanford Achievement Series - Stanford 10); the CRT portion is customized for Kentucky based on the new English/Language Arts and Math standards and on Core Content for Science and Social Studies.

Content area assessments in Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies consist of both multiple-choice (MC) and constructed-response (CR) items. The CR items may be short-answer or extended-response items. On-Demand Writing assessments use passage-based and situational prompts. Parents will receive individual reports on the results of these tests. 

Superintendent of schools, Darrell Treece, says K-PREP will be the only component used to hold the district's elementary and middle schools accountable this year. "Senate Bill 1 requires that other components kick in over three years; namely a diagnostic test in both reading and math to measure each student's yearly progress. With the new data, we will be able to look at how well our individual teachers are preparing their students in a given subject. We've needed this for a long time." College and career readiness will also be an important part of the NexGen assessment package. The Kentucky Board of Education expects to see 8th through 12th graders perform at high levels on the tests like EXPLORE, PLAN, ACT, armed forces ASVAB, or ACT. Students at Adair County High School will take end-of-course exams in four critical subjects, and the high school will be expected to show marked increases in its graduation rate. 

Treece said he is committed to the idea that Adair County students should be ready to either go to work or go on to the next level of training. "We're hearing a lot of talk about getting our students ready for Grade 13. Our district is currently working alongside community leaders to get Adair County designated a Kentucky Work-Ready Community. I feel confident that our middle school and high school teachers will pull together as we get our curriculum more aligned with the standards."

"It's rigorous, I'll give it that," said Treece. "But It makes good economic sense for our community that our graduates be able to perform well in this competitive climate."

Curry stressed, "Since K-PREP will be so different, there really won't be a valid and reliable way to compare the new test scores to test scores from past years. Once a new baseline is set, comparisons should be possible." -Alan W. Reed

Additional information about Next Generation Learners and the new K-PREP testing program (including sample test questions) can be found through the following link to the Kentucky Department of Education website: Sample Assessment Items for K-Prep

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