Research group calls LCPS ‘up-and-coming’
Published 5:40 pm Wednesday, January 6, 2016
A research group has dubbed Lunenburg County Public Schools as Virginia’s up-and-coming school system.
StartClass.com had the Lunenburg system tenth on its list of the most striving systems in the country.
“The assessment results are the product of hard work by students and teachers throughout our school division who are under more rigorous standards than in past years,” Superintendent Charles Berkley Jr. said.
“These scores demonstrate that our students will respond to academic challenges and our teachers are becoming better trained to help students achieve higher performance as we implement more rigor in the classroom. I feel we are on the road to success and accomplishing the goals set for our students in Lunenburg County.”
StartClass.com boasts that it is an education research website that provides students, parents, and educators with everything needed to research education options — from public school districts, to professional researching medical schools.
The information concerning the Lunenburg system was posted in a Dec. 10 article under the headline “The Best Up-and-Coming School Districts in Every State.”
“Using data from the U.S. Department of Education, StartClass found the school district on the rise in each state,” the organization noted.
“We identified the district in each state that had the largest increase in state testing performance and graduation rate from the 2011-2012 school year to the 2012-2013 school year.”
The organization said that Lunenburg’s average percentile change for the period was 32.3 percent. They noted that Lunenburg schools were in the 18th proficiency percentile in 2011-2012, but in the 22nd proficiency percentile in the 2012-1013; and 11th graduation rate percentile in 2011-2012, but in the 71st graduation rate percentile in 2012-13.
The post’s author noted that on Dec. 2, the House of Representatives approved a sweeping bill to drastically overhaul the No Child Left Behind Act and ending an era of major federal involvement in public education. With the onus of public school performance shifting back to states and local districts, “StartClass examined the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Education to identify the primary ‘up-and-coming’ public school district in each state” using data is from the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years.
“To determine the top up-and-coming school district in every state, we focused on two factors: the change in percentile rank in proficiency rates on statewide math and reading tests, and the change in percentile rank in high school graduation rates,” the article noted. “We then calculated the average percentile rank improvement between the two metrics. We chose the district with the greatest increase as the biggest up-and-comer in the state.”
Idaho, Kentucky and Oklahoma were not included because they were not required to report their graduation rates for the 2011-2012 school year, and Hawaii was not included because it has just one school district, the article said. School districts with fewer than 100 students participating in the state math and reading assessment were also not included.
“It’s important to note that districts can see a decrease in achievement scores yet an increase in percentile rank,” StartClass noted. “This occurs if the following year sees a decrease in the mean and standard deviation of state assessment scores across the districts in each state. Also, keep in mind that the sample size is only two school years, so the data could be influenced by a year-to-year fluctuation.”