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What We Learned From Kentucky's New Accountability System In NKY Districts

walton verona school kentucky
Courtesy of Walton-Verona Independent Schools

The Kentucky Department of Education released the results of its new accountability system for school districts last week, and for Northern Kentucky districts, the results were mixed.


Traditionally high-achieving districts and schools like Walton-Verona, Beechwood and Fort Thomas shined in the new five-star system. But others, like Covington and Newport, ranked among the worst in the state, with multiple schools in those urban districts earning only one star out of five.

Though the assessments evaluate a variety of data for elementary, middle and high schools, there is a clear disparity in achievement within Northern Kentucky with high-income districts strongly outperforming those districts in lower-income communities.

However, there is one consistent bright spot in Covington Independent Public Schools' consistently low scores: Glenn O. Swing Elementary scored five stars, and ranked among the state's best elementary schools for the fifth consecutive year.

What can be done to close the achievement gap between wealthy districts and poorer ones, and is the new system putting the state on the right path?

Joining Cincinnati Edition to talk about it are Walton-Verona Independent Schools Superintendent Dr. Matt Baker, Fort Thomas Independent Schools Superintendent Dr. Karen Cheser, Glenn O. Swing Elementary School Principal Sherri Lindberg, and Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence Executive Director Brigitte Blom Ramsey.

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

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Michael Monks brings a broad range of experience to WVXU-FM as the host of Cincinnati Edition, Cincinnati Public Radio's weekday news and information talk show.