HCS receives ‘Bright Spot’ recognition for excellence

11 November 2020 - The News-Enterprise

Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence named several Kentucky public schools as educational “bright spots,” including two schools in Hardin County Schools.

Each academic year, a few of Kentucky’s public perform better than expect­ed on measures of edu­cational achievement which are called “bright spots,” according to a news release.

Based on a report conducted by the Center for Business and Economic Research at the Gatton College of Business and Economics at the University of Kentucky, they used data from the Kentucky Department of Education, the Kentucky Center for Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau, covering eight academic years, 2011-12 to 2018-19. 

It states that Prichard estimates an expected level of school-level performance using district-level fixed effects panel regression analysis — a statistical method for estimating, expressing, and understanding the relationships between variables — and then compare it to the actual performance.

There are 47 “bright spot” schools, with 28 elementary schools, four middle schools and 15 high schools.

In Hardin County, Cecilia Valley Elementary School, although labeled as Howe­valley on the table, performed better than expected during one year in multi-grades of math with students qualifying for the Nat­ional School Lunch Program and those with an individ­ualized educational plan showing significant improvement.

John Hardin High School also is labeled a “bright spot” school performing better than excepted in the ACT composition exam with students qualifying for the National School Lunch Program showing significant improvement.

The release states there are 173 school districts containing 1,466 schools, each possessing wide differences in the learning environments, sizes, finances and student outcomes and are likely to reflect the underlying economic conditions of their surrounding communities.

Two conditions must be filled to be defined as a “bright spot.” First, all students are evaluated on an outcome measure, such as K-PREP elementary mathematics outcomes, to assess whether a school exhibits better-than-expected performance at least once from 2011 to 2018.

Second, while focusing on at-risk students, they analyze the model residuals to assess whether a school exhibits a significant improvement in performance relative to expectations over the time period.