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State Releases School Report Cards

Burgin Celebrates Academic Achievement, Mercer Sees Room For Improvement

Robert Moore
Herald Staff

The Kentucky Department of Education released the annual School Report Card last week. More than 329,000 students across Kentucky were assessedlast spring, as required by the U.S. Department of Education.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government gave states leeway in the assessments. Since no data was reported for assessment and accountability in the 2019-2020 school year due, school accountability ratings are not part of the 2020-2021 reporting.

“We knew these results would not be what we wanted to see, but the previous two school years saw extreme challenges,” said Education Commissioner Jason E. Glass in a statement to “We can use this information to address the gaps caused by COVID-19 disruptions and provide our students with the supports they need to be successful.”

While this past year can’t be compared to previous years, the results were largely the same, with Burgin celebrating their success and Mercer seeing room for improvement.

Burgin Independent

Burgin Independent Schools are celebrating being one of the top districts in the state.

Burgin Independent students continue to outpace other students across Kentucky, with 99.2 percent of students completing the state assessment. Burgin students also outperformed state proficiency averages.

Superintendent Will Begley said the past year has been challenging and praised the staff, students and parents for their hard work.

“Our staff had to learn how to deliver their content virtually, our students had to learn how to receive instruction virtually, and our parents had to learn to trust our virtual system,” Begley said in a press release. “It wasn’t perfect, but overall, our school’s assessment data shows that parents, students, and staff all played a part in our success.”

Begley noted that at Burgin High School, juniors taking the ACT Exam earned the top score of the Central Kentucky Educational Co-op with a score of 20.0.

“It also proves that our unique, small school setting provides us the opportunity to focus individually to ensure student success,” Begley said. “To have all three of our schools produce results like this is something we will once again celebrate.”

Mercer County

Superintendent Jason Booher said test results featured both promising areas of achievement and areas for growth.

“We were proud to say that we were able to test over 1,400 of our students, despite the obstacles of having students in both in-person and virtual settings,” Booher said in a released statement.

To help make sure no child goes hungry in the summer months, both Burgin and Mercer County Schools will be participating in the USDA Summer Food Program. Meals will be provided for free for children ages 18 and under for free.

Booher said Mercer saw a dip in ACT scores, with a composite of 17.8, just 0.2 below the state average score.

He said fifth and 11th grade on-demand writing scores were a bright spot with 18.8 percent of fifth graders scoring distinguished, over twice the state average of 8.9 percent. Mercer 11th graders had 31.4 percent of their students score distinguished in this testing area, also well above the state average.

Booher noted that sixth graders brought in the top math scores of the district, besting state averages in distinguished and proficient. However, reading scores consistently fell behind the state averages and trends, he said.

He said educators need to use the data to help students minimize the loss in instruction which he attributed to COVID-19 mitigation strategies.

“It is our goal to equip our students with the necessary tools that they will need to accomplish their goals and dreams,” he said.

For more information about how local schools performed, visit

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