Schools in Mercer County's low state ...

Schools in Mercer County's low state academic scores

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Whats up

Harrodsburg, KY

#1 Nov 2, 2012
The two school systems in Mercer County did not do well on the new Kentucky accountability tests. Each school in Kentucky were rated either DISTINGUISHED, PROFICIENT OR NEEDS IMPROVEMENT. Almost all of the Burgin schools and all of the Mercer County schools were rated "NEEDS IMPROVEMENT." On the other hand all of the Boyle County schools were rated either proficient or Distinguished. One had to wonder when schools print their list of honor roll students in the local paper why up to half of their students are making superior grades. Parents should take those honor roll lists with a grain of salt and look at the grading scale. A lower grading scale makes for more As and Bs but not for better learning. A high percentage of honor roll students just don't compute with schools that "need improvement."
edumkted

United States

#2 Nov 2, 2012
Whats up wrote:
The two school systems in Mercer County did not do well on the new Kentucky accountability tests. Each school in Kentucky were rated either DISTINGUISHED, PROFICIENT OR NEEDS IMPROVEMENT. Almost all of the Burgin schools and all of the Mercer County schools were rated "NEEDS IMPROVEMENT." On the other hand all of the Boyle County schools were rated either proficient or Distinguished. One had to wonder when schools print their list of honor roll students in the local paper why up to half of their students are making superior grades. Parents should take those honor roll lists with a grain of salt and look at the grading scale. A lower grading scale makes for more As and Bs but not for better learning. A high percentage of honor roll students just don't compute with schools that "need improvement."
Perhaps the parents need to be coeducators along with the school? If I were cynical, I'd say they aren't.
Whats up

Harrodsburg, KY

#3 Nov 2, 2012
edumkted wrote:
<quoted text>
Perhaps the parents need to be coeducators along with the school? If I were cynical, I'd say they aren't.
Parents are the child's first teacher. It always help if parents are involved with their children's schools. Both high schools in this county scored an identical 52.5. Scores range from 1 to 100. There are many schools in Kentucky which scored in the 90s. Both Mercer County and Burgin high schools are listed as needing improvement. I would say that Mercer County kids are as intelligent as those of other schools such as Anderson and Boyle Counties. Both Anderson County and Boyle counties are listed as proficient and both scored much higher that the two Mercer County high schools. Yes, it is time for parents to get involved. A good place to start would be to check your school's grading scale. Are you being fooled by report card grades that are artifically inflated by grading scales that have been revised downward?
Bill

Chicago, IL

#4 Nov 2, 2012
Wow!! Didn't the paper advertise about meetings sometime in the next couple of weeks about the scores? Maybe you should attend a meeting that Mr. Davis is having before you start posting comments. 90% of what your saying is correct, but I'm sure the schools don't inflat the scores. I have three children attending Mercer, two have taken the ACT, one scored a 26 the other a 28. The scores are comparable with their grades. Mercer and Burgin have alot of room for improvement. The parents and teachers need to work together to solve the issue, not creat more problems.
Whats UP

Harrodsburg, KY

#5 Nov 3, 2012
Bill wrote:
Wow!! Didn't the paper advertise about meetings sometime in the next couple of weeks about the scores? Maybe you should attend a meeting that Mr. Davis is having before you start posting comments. 90% of what your saying is correct, but I'm sure the schools don't inflat the scores. I have three children attending Mercer, two have taken the ACT, one scored a 26 the other a 28. The scores are comparable with their grades. Mercer and Burgin have alot of room for improvement. The parents and teachers need to work together to solve the issue, not creat more problems.
I have talked about grade inflation. By that I mean the grading scale. In many schools the grading scale has been lowered so that what used to be a B is now an A. What used to be a C is now a B and so on. So when a parent sees a report card with all As and Bs does it really mean that their child has excelled? I would suggest that parents check the grading scale. If their school rates an A as 90 to 100% achievement that school dumbed down it grading scale. If their school trots out published lists which boast that up to half of their students are honor students that school has dumbed down it's grading scale. The STATE ACCOUNTABILITY SCORES can easily be reached by one's computer. Id suggest that parents go on line and look for themselves as opposed to simply relying on the spin by the schools.
Parent

Harrodsburg, KY

#6 Nov 4, 2012
Results of the state tests are in the Danville paper today. Whats up is right. Burgin and Mercer County did not do so well. The paper tells about how great Boyle County did.
I went to the computer to check on the grading scale to see if What's up is right about duming down grades. I know that when I was a kid you have to have a 95 to get an A. I could not find it on the Burgin page. I did find the results of a test given last year which was supposed to measure how well kids did in specific skills like math, reading, science, social studies and writhing. I was surprised to see that Burgin students were below the state average in every thing excep writing where the were the same. So I want to know two things. Has Burgin and Mercer County made As and Bs easier to get by lowering what average you have to get to make As, Bs, and Cs or even passing? I can find that out by calling the schools. But what I and all parents need to know is whether our schools are doing as well as the grades that they put on report cards.
Joan

Covington, KY

#7 Nov 4, 2012
Anyone can get on Topix and see the effects of a Mercer education.
Soccer fan

Danville, KY

#8 Nov 4, 2012
Yes the grading scale is lower but remember this high GPA means scholarship money! So before you go calling for changes remember your child will compete against other students attending schools with lower standards. The cost of college is getting rediculous! High GPA + high ACT means most of the cost will be absorbed making it affordable. The conversation should be about helping our schools succeed and getting rid of ineffective teachers. Demand higher expectations and then support the school system. If the way we are doing it is not working then push for new ideas and by all means get involved and ask questions!
Whats up

Harrodsburg, KY

#9 Nov 4, 2012
Soccer fan wrote:
Yes the grading scale is lower but remember this high GPA means scholarship money! So before you go calling for changes remember your child will compete against other students attending schools with lower standards. The cost of college is getting rediculous! High GPA + high ACT means most of the cost will be absorbed making it affordable. The conversation should be about helping our schools succeed and getting rid of ineffective teachers. Demand higher expectations and then support the school system. If the way we are doing it is not working then push for new ideas and by all means get involved and ask questions!
I realize that some schools have dulled their grading scale in part because the state of Kentucky makes scholarship money available based on the student's GPA. The only problem is that the colleges and Universities have raised tuition and room and board in order to absorb the new state money. That is a little secrete that the state's law makers do not want the citizen to know. Parents see these wonderful grade cards and assume that their kid is achieving at the same level that they were required to achieve when they were in school. It is misleading and false. Another possible reason is that handing out lots of As and Bs is a good PR tool for the schools. As long as a parent sees those good grades he is not likely to question the low state test scores.
Simple

Winchester, KY

#10 Nov 7, 2012
I don't know very much about Mercer Co. Schools, but I have heard that they have lowered their grading scale and in certain grades are even not allowing homework to be sent home. Burgin is a great school, but they are way far behind in technology because since they are small they don't get state funding like big schools. A lot of the kids in the classes at Burgin are kids from right in the city, which are mostly from poor families living on welfare and could care less about their kids educations and helping them with homework. The teachers try very hard there, but when you don't have parents backing you, what can you do? Boyle Co. schools are huge and clearly have plenty of funding for technology and I'm sure they have plenty of resources to work with remedial kids. I don't know what kind of funding Mercer has, but I know Burgin doesn't get much. So, how are you supposed to help kids learn when the school is underfunded and understaffed. Their teachers already make about 3,000 less on their salary than public school teachers and do triple the work. If you think the test scores should be better, then maybe you should come and observe and see what the teachers are up against. Also, volenteer to help tutor, donate money, or anything that could help. Also, just so you know, these were a new type of tests this year and the state warned schools to expect low tests scores.
Keep DARE out of school

Duluth, GA

#11 Nov 8, 2012
If the children could focus on education and not worry about being raped in school by the DARE officers or parents on drugs maybe the scores would be higher! Just a thought!
In the know

Harrodsburg, KY

#12 Nov 8, 2012
Simple wrote:
I don't know very much about Mercer Co. Schools, but I have heard that they have lowered their grading scale and in certain grades are even not allowing homework to be sent home. Burgin is a great school, but they are way far behind in technology because since they are small they don't get state funding like big schools. A lot of the kids in the classes at Burgin are kids from right in the city, which are mostly from poor families living on welfare and could care less about their kids educations and helping them with homework. The teachers try very hard there, but when you don't have parents backing you, what can you do? Boyle Co. schools are huge and clearly have plenty of funding for technology and I'm sure they have plenty of resources to work with remedial kids. I don't know what kind of funding Mercer has, but I know Burgin doesn't get much. So, how are you supposed to help kids learn when the school is underfunded and understaffed. Their teachers already make about 3,000 less on their salary than public school teachers and do triple the work. If you think the test scores should be better, then maybe you should come and observe and see what the teachers are up against. Also, volenteer to help tutor, donate money, or anything that could help. Also, just so you know, these were a new type of tests this year and the state warned schools to expect low tests scores.
You are dead wrong. Burgin's salary schedule compares well with other Kentucky schools. Burgin has an excellent tax base and more than enough money to run their school. Burgin is not behind in technology. You are wrong about Burgin kids being poor and non motivated. Burgin is a good school and there are parents outside of the school district that would love to have their kids going to Burgin. I do think that they pad their grades and that parents are fooled by the large number of kids that get all As and Bs. But don't most schools do that? It would be good if student grades matched state tests scores but they don't. That ought be something for Burgin to shoot for.
Lol

Winchester, KY

#13 Nov 8, 2012
In the know wrote:
<quoted text>
You are dead wrong. Burgin's salary schedule compares well with other Kentucky schools. Burgin has an excellent tax base and more than enough money to run their school. Burgin is not behind in technology. You are wrong about Burgin kids being poor and non motivated. Burgin is a good school and there are parents outside of the school district that would love to have their kids going to Burgin. I do think that they pad their grades and that parents are fooled by the large number of kids that get all As and Bs. But don't most schools do that? It would be good if student grades matched state tests scores but they don't. That ought be something for Burgin to shoot for.
Excuse me, but I am not dead wrong about the salary schedule. I know for a fact that it is about 3,000 lower than teahcers in surrounding counties get paid. You can publicly view the salary schedules. And I don't know where you get that they aren't behind in technology. The classrooms lack enough computers and you can take one look at their website and see that they are behind. I am also correct about the kids being non motivated and poor. There are people outside the school district that would love for their kids to go to Burgin, but since the school is so small they can't hold those numbers and the poor kids of the city of Burgin get to attend because they are in the school's district. I never said Burgin wasn't a good school, in fact, I said it was a great school. I am not downing Burgin. I just know what things are lacking.
In the know

Harrodsburg, KY

#14 Nov 11, 2012
Lol wrote:
<quoted text>
Excuse me, but I am not dead wrong about the salary schedule. I know for a fact that it is about 3,000 lower than teahcers in surrounding counties get paid. You can publicly view the salary schedules. And I don't know where you get that they aren't behind in technology. The classrooms lack enough computers and you can take one look at their website and see that they are behind. I am also correct about the kids being non motivated and poor. There are people outside the school district that would love for their kids to go to Burgin, but since the school is so small they can't hold those numbers and the poor kids of the city of Burgin get to attend because they are in the school's district. I never said Burgin wasn't a good school, in fact, I said it was a great school. I am not downing Burgin. I just know what things are lacking.
You are wrong. Burgin average salary ranges from $45,337 at the elementary level to $48,190 for high school teachers. Bear in mind that there are teachers at each level that earn more than the average. Burgin average salaries are median for teachers in the state of Kentucky. In case you do not understand the word median, median means that there are just as many schools below Burgin's salary schedule as there are above it. Burgin is a wealthy school district with a tax rate that generates enough property taxes to fund the school well. You are very wrong about Burgin's kids being poor and unmotivated. The majority of Burgin's students are as motivated as any in the state.
soccerfan

Danville, KY

#15 Nov 13, 2012
The comment about Boyle is misleading and not the reason their scores are higher. The number of students whose parents have a college education and consequently have higher expectations of their children is much higher than either Mercer Co. or Burgin. Children who come from homes where education is valued, are exposed to reading i.e. see parents read and have access to books magazines etc. are more likely to read as well. Children that read better often do better in all classes than those that do not. If we want to give our children the opportunity to have choices when it comes to careers and jobs then we must place a value on school. This includes reading to them when they are young, helping them with homework etc. It may also mean that we place less emphasis on other activities such as athletics,, hunting etc. These activities can go hand in hand with school but not take priority.
Teach them kids

Harrodsburg, KY

#16 Nov 16, 2012
soccerfan wrote:
The comment about Boyle is misleading and not the reason their scores are higher. The number of students whose parents have a college education and consequently have higher expectations of their children is much higher than either Mercer Co. or Burgin. Children who come from homes where education is valued, are exposed to reading i.e. see parents read and have access to books magazines etc. are more likely to read as well. Children that read better often do better in all classes than those that do not. If we want to give our children the opportunity to have choices when it comes to careers and jobs then we must place a value on school. This includes reading to them when they are young, helping them with homework etc. It may also mean that we place less emphasis on other activities such as athletics,, hunting etc. These activities can go hand in hand with school but not take priority.
The superintendant of Mercer County was a coach. He is into basketball and football. He gives his coaches soft jobs and keeps them from teaching. But he cuts teachers and claims that Mercer County is short on money. He needs to know that a school is there to teach and that play should come second. Booster clubs need to know that too.
Hello

Duluth, GA

#17 Nov 18, 2012
In the know wrote:
<quoted text>
You are wrong. Burgin average salary ranges from $45,337 at the elementary level to $48,190 for high school teachers. Bear in mind that there are teachers at each level that earn more than the average. Burgin average salaries are median for teachers in the state of Kentucky. In case you do not understand the word median, median means that there are just as many schools below Burgin's salary schedule as there are above it. Burgin is a wealthy school district with a tax rate that generates enough property taxes to fund the school well. You are very wrong about Burgin's kids being poor and unmotivated. The majority of Burgin's students are as motivated as any in the state.
Burgin is a Title 1 school, meaning the majority of kids are getting free and reduced lunch, which equals poverty. Drive around the streets of Burgin and tell me the area isn't poor. Who cares about the median teacher salaries. Of course theirs is high because most if the teachers there have been there forever, which drives the median salary up. A new teacher makes about 32,500 there compared to 36,500 at other school districts.
In the know

Harrodsburg, KY

#18 Nov 18, 2012
I continue to write that Burgin's students are motivated and interested in learning. There is no more poverty in Burgin than you will find in other nearby areas. Schools try to get as many kids on free and reduced lunch as possible so that they can get more state and federal money. Burgin may be good at it. Burgin has less turnover than some other schools because it is a good place to work. If you have the facts about salary schedules then post them on this space. Will no one who lives in Burgin, or more important teaches at Burgin comment about this attack on their school?
More So In The Know

Stanton, KY

#19 Nov 18, 2012
You can't be good at getting kids free and reduced lunch lol. It's based on a family's income. You are right about Burgin having less turnover. Why wouldn't a teacher want to work at a smaller school with a smaller class size. Plus everyone is super friendly and get along great. They have a great Super and Principal. I love the Burgin school...you act like I'm agaist Burgin, which is not true. I just gave my reasons why I believe the test scores were low compared to Boyle Co schools. There are definitely some smart kids at Burgin, but there are at least half or more kids there that are below average in their learning. I personally think it's due to lack of parents being involved, which is usually common in schools with low income students. I realize you clearly don't agree with any of that...and that's okay. You are entitled to your opinion just the same as I am. People are allowed to have different opinions and thoughts you know. Anyway, Burgin does not publicly post their salary schedule and don't have to since thy are an independent school, but I do know a first year teacher with a bachelor's degree makes around 32,000 or so. I did however find a website that has that info and actually shows the salary being lower than that at $31,087. I do have the public online salary schedules for Mercer and Boyle.

(Scroll to bottom of page for Burgin's salary estimate)

http://www.localschooldirectory.com/public-sc...

Mercer's salary schedule
http://www.mercer.k12.ky.us/Salaries/12_13_ce...

Boyle's salary schedule
http://www.boyle.k12.ky.us/education/componen...
More So In The Know

Stanton, KY

#20 Nov 18, 2012
And just in case you don't know how to read a salary schedule...a first year teacher with a Bachelor's degree is considered a Rank 3 teacher, so you look under Rank 3 and at 0 years of experience to see the starting salary. You become a Rank 2 once you get your Master's and a Rank 1 when you take more classes to obtain that.

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