Three Eastern Kentucky high schools are on a new list of "persistently low-achieving" schools released Monday by the state Department of Education.
Schools in Carter, Greenup and Martin counties are listed, along with Christian County High School. Jefferson County, however, leads the group with six schools listed as low achieving. It's the second straight year the Jefferson County Public Schools have had at least six schools among the state's low achievers.
The latest listing is based on statewide student testing results released in September, which showed that the 10 schools' math and reading proficiency scores were in the lowest 5 percent in Kentucky. The scores were from statewide tests that students took last spring.
The 10 listed schools now become eligible for various kinds of assistance to help them improve, including federal School Improvement Grants of up to $500,000 annually for the next three years. State assistance is mandated under House Bill 176, passed by the General Assembly last winter to help turn around low achieving schools.
Schools that don't shape up potentially could be subject to forced restructuring, including having their principals and up to half of their teachers replaced.
The 10 schools are East Carter County High School; Greenup County High School; Sheldon Clark High School in Martin County; Christian County High School; and Iroquois High, Doss High; Fairdale High, Waggener Traditional High, Southern High and Seneca High, all in Jefferson County.
Earlier this year, the state released its first list of persistently low-achieving schools, based on scores from 2009 student testing.
The first list of low achievers, released earlier this year, was made up of Caverna High School in Hart County; Leslie County High School; Lawrence County High School; Metcalfe County High School; and Western Middle School, Frost Middle School, Western High School, Valley Traditional High, Fern Creek Traditional High, and The Academy at Shawnee, all in Jefferson County.
Those 10 schools have been receiving assistance, and some already are showing improvement, the state Department of Education says.
According to state figures, the percentage of students scoring proficient or higher in reading and math rose from 33.47 percent to 41.22 percent at Lawrence County High this year. At Leslie County High, the same figure jumped from 30.06 percent to 54.31 percent.
"It's hard to tie these increases directly to school improvement grants the schools may have received, because they've just gotten those," education department spokeswoman Lisa Gross said. "But it does show they are making an effort."