12 Kentucky School Districts Named ‘Bright Spots’ in UK, Prichard Committee Report

Lexington, KY — Twelve Kentucky school districts have been labeled “bright spots” in a new report released by The Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) in the Gatton College of Business and Economics at the University of Kentucky. Researchers from CBER, with support from and in partnership with the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, analyzed 2012-2017 education data from the state’s 173 school districts. They identified key factors affecting academic achievement and constructed statistical models to predict an expected level of performance on state assessments. The 12 districts performed at significantly higher levels than predicted and are considered “bright spots.” Three of those districts are in our region, Hazard Independent, Jenkins Independent and Paintsville Independent. According to the report, Jenkins Independent School District in Letcher County has been named a “bright spot.” Located in a high-poverty region, the district faces significant challenges. Despite being economically disadvantaged, 66% of its elementary students performed at a high level on the 2017 reading K-PREP assessment ⁠— substantially higher than the state average of 54% and the predicted performance of 42%. Additionally, the percentage of economically disadvantaged students who performed at a high level increased from 39% to 66% from 2012 to 2017 ⁠— a significant increase and much higher than the state overall. This report and its findings will be showcased at the Prichard Committee’s annual meeting on Sept. 27, in Lexington. The other districts labeled “bright spots” include:

Barbourville Independent
Fleming County
Grayson County
Hickman County
Monroe County
Pineville Independent
Robertson County
Somerset Independent
Woodford County