College and Career Readiness

A quality education from kindergarten through high school is crucial for children to build a firm foundation for a successful college career and a productive adult life. Many factors affect the quality of support children are given in and outside of school, thereby influencing the quality of education a child receives. In particular, poverty affects a students’ health, ability to focus, and ultimately, their educational success. The metric associated with K-12 success is “college and career readiness,” in alignment with the efforts of 55,000 Degrees. Louisville has a target goal of 100% college and career readiness among graduating high school students. The data below reflect students enrolled in public schools and was obtained through testing.

Trends Over Time

JCPS is falling behind the state public school system when it comes to college and career readiness. The percentage of students deemed college and career ready decreased by over 10 percentage points in a period of two years from 2016 to 2018. JCPS students also perform below the 25th percentile of KY public school students.

Differences Based on Race

Neither JCPS, nor the state of KY has progressed in reducing the gaps between racial groups for college and career readiness. Asian and white students in JCPS and in KY public schools continue to asses hire for career and college readiness compared to Hispanic and Black students in JCPS and across the state.


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College and career readiness among public school students reached a high in 2016. Since then, the percentage of college and career ready men and women in JCPS has fallen more than the percentage for each group in the rest of Kentucky.  While declined, females in JCPS and KY public schools continue to assess higher than their male counterparts.

Differences Based on Free and Reduced Lunch Status

Within JCPS and within KY public schools, students that qualify for free or reduced lunch are deemed less ready for college or a career compared to their wealthier counterparts. This gap has persisted since the year 2012. Since 2016, both JCPS and KY public schools have experienced a decline in college and career readiness, across categories. Students on free and reduced lunch within JCPS have lagged behind their state counterparts since 2012. Students not qualifying for free and reduced lunch in JCPS fell behind their KY counterparts in 2016 and remain behind.