Kentucky was among a dozen or so states with an achievement gap narrower than the national average in math and reading test scores of white and black students, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Education.
Louisiana, Mississippi, Virginia and South Carolina were among other well-scoring Southern states.
"We're still not where we need to be when we talk about closing the achievement gap," said Lisa Gross, spokeswoman for the Kentucky Department of Education.
Although it's good that Kentucky's gap is narrower than the national average, that doesn't mean all is well in Kentucky schools, said Richard Innes, an education analyst with the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Analysis. In most instances, Kentucky's racial gap is narrower because the state's white students score lower than the national average, Innes said.
But schools are taking steps in the right direction, Gross said.
Kentucky schools are doing their best to tailor to every child's individual needs, which seems to be a good model for success, Gross said.
"There is no blanket solution for this," she said.
"The infrastructure is in place, it's just hard to know what works well all the time."
Local schools are making educational equality a priority as well, said Jack Hayes, director of student achievement support for the Fayette County Public Schools.
The DOE report tests students in fourth and eighth grade. In Fayette County, most of the success is being seen at the elementary level, which is most likely because of the way kids learn at an early age, Hayes said.