Sample assessment items/Performance levels

At this highest level, the student has deep understanding of the concept or process and can complete all important parts of the task. The student can communicate well, think concretely and abstractly, and analyze and interpret data.


The student understands the major concepts, can do almost all of the task, and can communicate concepts clearly.


The student has gained more understanding and can do some important parts of the task.

History of Kentucky’s new tests


Kentucky Education Reform Act requires that a primarily performance-based student assessment system be used in grades 4, 8 and 12 to hold schools accountable for improving the academic performance of their students.


Writing portfolios introduced in grades 4, 8 and 12.

Written tests with essay questions in reading, writing, science, mathematics and social studies administered in grades 4, 8 and 12.

Performance events in math, science and social studies administered to samples of students in grades 4, 8 and 12.

Results of testing used to establish baseline performance level for every school in the state.


Like many schools in the persistently poor Appalachian region of eastern Kentucky, Sandy Hook Elementary traditionally had to do without or had to do with somebody else’s castoffs. For years, Sandy Hook and other schools in Elliott County routinely received truckloads of worn, outdated school supplies from around the country, recalls Principal Claudette Green.