Somerset Independent named 'Educational Bright Spot' by UK report

26 September 2019 - Carla Slavey (Commonwealth Journal)

Somerset Independent - and all of Pulaski's school districts - were celebrated as Kentucky Educational Bright Spots in a report released Tuesday by the University of Kentucky's Center for Business and Economic Research.

The study takes statistical data from 2012 through 2017 to examine how school districts were predicted to perform, then compared that data to how districts actually performed.

"The difference between actual performance and model-based expected performance is the residual," the report states. Those schools that performed significantly better were called "bright spots."

Somerset made a list of 12 districts around the state "where all students (on average) perform better than expected at least once during this period, and less-advantaged students show steady progress over the time period culminating with a better-than-expected outcome in 2017."

Seven "measures" were analyzed to create that list, including K-PREP assessments, elementary and middle school reading and mathematics and ACT measures.

Other schools on the list include Barbourville Independent, Monroe County and Woodford County.

Somerset's Superintendent Kyle Lively said about the designation, "We are extremely proud of the fantastic work being done by students, teachers and administrators throughout Somerset Schools. This recognition validates that student success is at the core of everything we do and that Somerset offers an outstanding educational experience."

The report also highlighted Science Hill Independent, noting that it is one of only five districts measured that does not have a high school.

The specific area the report discusses for Science Hill is the number of students who had an outstanding performance on K-PREP testing in relation to the "$1,000 in per student expenditures," meaning how much money was available for the district to spend on students.

Science Hill "distinguishes itself by registering as a 'bright spot' in four of the six years analyzed," the report states.

Science Hill leads, but is joined by Somerset and Pulaski County Schools as being "Bright Spots" in the category of schools with higher than expected K-PREP scores per every $1,000 spent.