www.afaar.org/KentuckyACTScoresUnemploymentRate.htm

ACT Scores  and Merit Pay - 

Kentucky's ACT Scores Decrease and Unemployment Rates Soar

    Kentucky was chosen several years ago to be the model state for massive reforms,  reforms which emphasized and celebrated merit pay for teachers based on achievement scores of students. This year's graduating seniors (who began school in 1990 under the new reforms) scored below the national average in every test area:  English, math, reading and scientific reasoning.

 

    These scores were reported by an associated press writer  in the Lexington Herald-Leader on Monday, September, 09, 2002 under the headline "All signs pointed to ACT score increase"  They would not allow us to post the entire article but following are some excerpts from it.  One can find the entire article in their archives for that date at www.kentucky.com.

 

 

 

Excerpts from Lexington Herald-Leader

All signs pointed to ACT score increase

By Charles Wolfe

ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

      A mediocre showing on the ACT by last year's Kentucky high school seniors defied developments that should have made scores go up instead of down.

 

    Fewer Kentucky students took the test last spring...If the pool is smaller, the average score should be higher.

 

     A greater percentage of students who took the ACT had also taken the more rigorous "core curriculum" that supposedly prepared them for college work. Kentucky colleges and universities require the ACT for admission.  Again, a motivation factor.

 

    The scores might prove to have some political significance because this was the high school class of 2002.  Its members were in Kindergarten in 1990, when the General Assembly passed the Kentucky Education Reform Act, pumping money into schools and otherwise giving public education a top-to-bottom overhaul.  They were the first students to have gone completely through elementary, middle and high school under the new system.

 

    Yet, the state's ACT average dipped to 20.0 on a scale of 1 to 36.  It had been 20.1 in each of the three previous years.  Kentucky students were below the national average in every test area: English, math, reading and scientific reasoning.

 

    Then the writer went on and quoted several officials who expressed disappointment  about the scores. One of those was Gene Wilhoit, the former Director of Arkansas's State  Department of Education.

  

   

 

  Kentucky's Unemployment Rate for 16 to 19 Years Olds Soar

     The following is an article and  table and graphs by Richard Innes who has done extensive statistical work on educational matters in Kentucky.  This article appeared on the  website www.EducationNews.org

 

Kentucky and SAT/ACT Bad News


 
  The recent ACT scores release is loaded with bad news for Kentucky and its KERA  education reform, but ACT is far from the worst news about Kentucky education.

    New data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that non-college bound students are doing even worse than the college aspirants.   This data, summarized in the attached Word document, shows that Kentucky's youth unemployment rate (for ages 16 to 19) has now risen so high that it even eclipses West Virginia's rate.  For the first time since 1988, none of the seven states surrounding Kentucky have a higher rate.

    This is extraordinarily bad news for KERA.  When the reform began in 1990, one of its greatest promises was that underprivileged children would be specially benefited.   The unemployment data shows that promise has failed, miserably.

    It is also important to note that this recent data covers kids who have been involved with KERA from the beginning of their school careers.  They are the KERA "babies," and their failures can no longer be laid at the feet of former education programs.  In fact, the graph included in the attachment makes it very clear that Kentucky's kids were generally no worse off before KERA began than they are today.

    Coupled with the ACT results, it is becoming clear that something is going seriously wrong with our education program and the statistics being generated by its CATS assessment program.  It simply isn't possible for our schools to really be getting much better when our kids are doing so much worse in the real world.

Please contact me with any questions.

Richard Innes

Unemployment Rates for 16 to 19 Year Olds in Kentucky and Neighboring States, Both Sexes

Rate per 1000

Source: Geographic Profile of Employment and Unemployment (for the appropriate year), U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington, D.C.

Source: US Dept of Labor, Table 12, Employment status of the civilian noninstitutional population by sex, age, race, and Hispanic origin, (Year) annual averages http://www.bls.gov/lau/table12fullXX.pdf

Where XX is year, I.E. 01 for most recent 2001 report

Year KY WV OH IN IL MO TN VA Aver. w/o Difference
                  KY KY - Aver.

1988

20.6

26.8

15.6

12.0

16.3

20.0

14.8

12.9

16.9

3.7

1989

19.6

21.9

14.8

9.5

15.0

19.2

14.9

14.1

15.6

4.0

1990

17.0

17.9

15.4

15.7

15.6

13.9

14.4

20.1

16.1

0.9

1991

20.9

28.4

18.1

19.2

18.7

18.2

18.4

22.0

20.4

0.5

1992

15.6

29.5

20.0

18.6

21.4

12.0

17.2

21.8

20.1

-4.5

1993

15.7

35.0

18.1

14.5

18.9

15.5

20.5

19.1

20.2

-4.5

1994

17.5

31.2

16.1

14.0

14.6

16.0

13.1

18.5

17.6

-0.1

1995

17.5

24.6

14.6

14.0

15.4

13.9

20.0

18.9

17.3

0.2

1996

18.8

25.2

15.9

14.2

16.6

14.8

19.0

12.0

16.8

2.0

1997

18.4

27.3

15.8

10.7

14.1

16.1

18.0

11.4

16.2

2.2

1998

16.7

20.4

14.2

8.2

12.5

11.8

14.0

12.4

13.4

3.3

1999

16.4

23.0

13.8

12.4

12.9

8.7

12.1

12.6

13.6

2.8

2000

15.8

18.9

11.3

11.9

11.9

11.9

13.4

7.7

12.4

3.4

2001

20.4

18.9

13.6

12.6

14.9

14.7

13.5

15.2

14.8

5.6

 

     The above article and table and chart was prepared by Richard Innes.  See beginning of  article for details.

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