Bullitt honored for college, career readiness

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 Bullitt County Public Schools is among 111 public school districts statewide that delivered on a pledge made five years ago to improve the college- and career-readiness of its high school graduates by 2015.

All of the state’s 169 P-12 superintendents and local board chairs signed the pledge – known as the Commonwealth Commitment to College and Career Readiness – in 2011. (In Kentucky, five public school districts do not have high schools). Each of the districts had a unique goal based on increasing its 2010 college- and career-readiness rate by 50 percent by 2015. 

Superintendent Keith Davis said in 2010, he and the Board Chairperson signed a commitment to increase College & Career Readiness rates from 27% to 64% - a 137% increase - by the end of 2015. At the end of 2015, the actual rate was 86.5%, which is a 220% increase.

“Only 3 other school districts in the whole state exceeded their goal by more than BCPS, and their combined enrollments are less than 1/3 of ours. No other district of similar size or larger even came close to our level of improvement,” Davis remarked. “Big thanks go to our Board for supporting our efforts, and especially to our teachers and principals who made it a priority to give students a diploma that has a real meaning. And, we will be even better this year.”

Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt recognized Bullitt County Public Schools at the Kentucky School Boards Association conference in Louisville on February 27th.

“As a result of the commitment being met, at least 15,000 more students statewide graduated in 2015 than did in 2010 ready for postsecondary opportunities,” he said. “This is tremendous, and puts the Commonwealth on the right track as we look to build on the accomplishments of the past 25 years and provide each and every child with a world-class education that will lead them to success in their postsecondary endeavors, in the job market and life.”

In 2010, only 34 percent of Kentucky’s high school students were considered ready for college and careers. That rate jumped to 66.8 percent in 2015, based on Unbridled Learning accountability results released last fall.

Districts across the state used many different strategies to help their students become college- and career-ready.

District Director of College and Career Readiness Christy Coulter-Rogers said BCPS has implemented a K-12 approach to college and career readiness.

“Elementary is focused on CCR awareness, Middle is focused on CCR exploration, and High Schools are focused on actual CCR preparation,” she said. “Culture, Academic Systems, and Monitoring are the three big areas of focus to ensure every student is equipped with knowledge and skills they can take with them after graduation.”

Bullitt County Board of Education Chairperson Debby Atherton said the honor speaks to the facts the district is working toward excellence.

 “It was an honor to be recognized again as one of Kentucky’s most progressive and progressing districts,” Atherton said. “I think our earlier BOE decision to challenge all Bullitt County students to achieve ‘College and Career Ready’ status was a great decision.  BCPS set the bar high and our students met and exceeded the challenge.”

The Commonwealth Commitment was tied to the passage of Senate Bill 1 (2009), which required that P-12 and postsecondary education leaders produce a plan to reduce the number of high school graduates needing remediation when they enter college by 50 percent – effectively saving students from paying tuition for remedial courses for which they do not earn college credit and increasing the likelihood they will persist in college and graduate with a degree.

Bullitt County Public Schools has over 13,200 students in grades preschool through 12. There are 25 school facilities, a certified staff of over 900 and a classified staff of over 800 working to make the district the leader in educational excellence.