Archive | March 20th, 2012

Kentucky receives additional school improvement grant funding

Kentucky, 24 other states and the District of Columbia will share nearly $220 million in School Improvement Grant (SIG) funding provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

SIG funds provide grants to state educational agencies that are used to assist school districts as they work to raise student achievement in persistently low-achieving (PLA) schools, now designated as Priority Schools through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act/No Child Left Behind Act (ESEA/NCLB) waiver that Kentucky received in February.

For this round of funding, Kentucky will receive $8,437,046, which is continuation funding that will be allocated to those schools previously identified as being in Cohort 2 of the SIG process. The Kentucky Department of Education has asked for funding for the most-recently identified 19 Priority Schools (formerly the Cohort 3 designation) through the state budget process.

Those schools that will receive this continuation funding are listed below: Continue Reading

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Kentucky to apply for additional NCLB waivers

The U.S. Department of Education is now offering selected states the opportunity to request two additional waivers from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act/No Child Left Behind Act (ESEA/NCLB).

This opportunity is provided to states that already have received waivers from ESEA/NCLB. In February, Kentucky was granted a waiver that provided flexibility in many areas related to public school assessment and accountability.

These additional waivers were not included in the original waiver package, but were recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USED) as necessary to complete the flexibility package. Two additional waivers are offered, and Kentucky will apply for both.

  • Waiver of the requirements that state education agencies (SEAs) and local education agencies (LEAs, or school districts) make AYP determinations — Performance toward annual measureable objectives (AMOs, or goals) for all student subgroups must still be reported, and that performance must support continuous improvement in Title I schools that are not Reward Schools, Priority Schools or Focus Schools. This waiver will reinforce Kentucky’s use of the Unbridled Learning: College/Career Readiness for All accountability system to measure progress, rather than the NCLB model. Continue Reading

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Advisors give sound advice to 8th, 10th graders

Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday talks with sophomore Alex Kearns about his future college and career plans during Operation Preparation at Gallatin County High School. Kearns is interested in a science-related field. Photo by Amy Wallot, March 15, 2012

Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday talks with sophomore Alex Kearns about his future college and career plans during Operation Preparation at Gallatin County High School. Kearns is interested in a science-related field. Photo by Amy Wallot, March 15, 2012

Gallatin County High School sophomore Brooke Dossett enjoys playing basketball and has hopes of a career in sports medicine one day. She is already taking an anatomy class with that in mind.

It never occurred to her, however, that a psychology class also might come in handy or that she might want to look into volunteering at her local YMCA.

“I hadn’t made those connections before, but when Mr. (Terry) Holliday made those suggestions, I knew it was good advice,” Dossett said.

Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday was one of numerous community volunteer advisors who spent time last week sharing college and career advice to 8th- and 10th-grade students during Operation Preparation.

The voluntary, statewide program was a joint effort of Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) and the Department for Workforce Development.

“We want to help students realize their potential, maximize their academic preparation and stay on track for success during and after high school,” Holliday said.

College/career-readiness is one of the measures on which schools and districts will be judged as part of the state’s new Unbridled Learning: College/Career-Readiness for All assessment and accountability system.

College and career plans for each student are identified in their Individual Learning Plans (ILPs). Continue Reading

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Human Rights Councils focused on giving students a voice

By Matthew Tungate
matthew.tungate@education.ky.gov

Joe Gutmann watches over students creating hallway posters to remind fellow students to watch their language during his law and government class at Central High School (Jefferson County). Photo by Amy Wallot, Jan. 31, 2012

Joe Gutmann watches over students creating hallway posters to remind fellow students to watch their language during his law and government class at Central High School (Jefferson County). Photo by Amy Wallot, Jan. 31, 2012

Joe Gutmann, Central High School (Jefferson County) law and government teacher, believes that building a better world starts in schools and is carried out into communities. So when he got opportunity to partner with the state government agency that enforces the laws that make discrimination illegal, he knew it was a natural fit.

“The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights is a very important agency,” he said. “Certainly its mission and goals are similar to what we hope to achieve in our classroom: helping others, protecting the rights of others.”

Gutmann, a licensed attorney in his 11th year in the classroom, asked his junior law and government students if they would like to be part of a new organization that would address and seek solutions to civil and human rights concerns that are often encountered in their school. Virtually his whole class agreed to participate, Gutmann said.

The Youth Human Rights Council isn’t like a Student Council, which can be a political contest between the most popular students, he said. Continue Reading

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