Posted on 10 March 2015.
Kentucky Department of Education Chief of Staff Tommy Floyd and Associate Commissioners Amanda Ellis and Kelly Foster discuss closing the achievement gaps through novice reduction with the Kentucky Board of Education during its meeting.
Photo by Amy Wallot, Feb. 4, 2015
By Brenna R. Kelly
It’s one of the most vexing issues educators face – closing the achievement gap – which is why Kentucky Department of Education officials recently announced a new plan for how they will assist districts and schools in raising achievement for all students.
“We know in this state if we partner with districts to have a laser-like focus on issues, results happen,” said Kelly Foster, associate commissioner of KDE’s Office of Next Generation Schools and Districts, which works to raise student achievement by supporting districts. “We’ve seen that with college and career-readiness.”
In a nutshell, the state’s plan is focused on decreasing the number of students performing at the Novice level under the state’s accountability model, and raising the achievement among specific groups of students, such as minorities and students in poverty, who tend to lag behind their white, more economically advantaged classmates.
“If we can create the same intensity around closing achievement gaps through novice reduction, kids will be impacted in great ways,” Foster said while presenting the plan at a recent Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) meeting.
KBE has made closing achievement gaps one of its top priorities. Under state law, KBE and districts are required to address the gaps in achievement between African-American and white students, male and female students, students with and without disabilities, students with limited English proficiency and English speakers, and students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch and students who do not. Continue Reading