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Board considers new social studies, arts standards

At its meeting Tuesday, the Kentucky Board of Education discussed potential changes to the Unbridled Learning Accountability Model and reviewed new social studies and arts and humanities standards.

The board heard the first reading of 704 KAR 3:303, Kentucky Academic Standards. Proposed new social studies standards and arts and humanities standards align to college/career-readiness and conform to the requirements for new standards established by Senate Bill 1 (2009).

Karen Kidwell,  director of the Division of Program Standards for the Kentucky Department of Education, told the board that the vision of the proposed social studies standards is that “we create active citizens who participate productively in the world around them.”

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Scores rise as more Ky. students take AP classes

More Kentucky students are taking Advanced Placement (AP) tests and scoring higher, according to data released Tuesday by the College Board.

Since 2008, the number of Kentucky public high school students taking AP examinations has more than doubled and the number of tests with a qualifying score of 3, 4, or 5, has increased by 115 percent.

Number of AP Test-Takers Number of Tests Number of Scores 3-5
2008 14,664 23,280 10,925
2009 16,958 27,129 13,178
2010 19,604 31,742 14,837
2011 23,547 37,977 17,404
2012 26,523 43,185 20,316
2013 28,147 45,553 21,922
2014 30,133 48,734 23,519

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Sims receives 2014 Kevin M. Noland Award

Rhonda Sims with former interim Education Comissioner Kevin M. Noland, for whom the award is named. Photo by Tim Thornberry, Oct. 7, 2014

Rhonda Sims with former interim Education Comissioner Kevin M. Noland, for whom the award is named. Photo by Tim Thornberry, Oct. 7, 2014

At its meeting in Frankfort today, the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) presented the 2014 Kevin M. Noland Award to Rhonda Sims, director of Assessment Support and Research within the Office of Assessment and Accountability at the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE).

The award recognizes a KDE employee for significant service to Kentucky’s public schools and for providing inspiration for education. Nominations are made by KDE staff.

Sims is a frequent presenter in front of state school board members, legislative committees, advisory committees and stakeholder groups, said Board Chair Roger Marcum.

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9 semifinalists named for Ky. Teacher of the Year

Nine outstanding teachers from across the state – three elementary, three middle and three high school teachers – are semifinalists for the 2015 Kentucky Teacher of the Year award, the Kentucky Department of Education and Ashland Inc. announced Monday.

Winners of the Elementary, Middle and High School Teacher of the Year awards, in addition to the overall 2015 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, will be announced at a ceremony in Frankfort at 10 a.m. ET on Oct. 23, in the Rotunda of the Capitol Building.

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Four Kentucky public schools win Blue Ribbon honors

The U. S. Department of Education (USED) has named four Kentucky public schools as 2014 National Blue Ribbon Schools, based on their overall academic excellence.

They are:

  • Central Elementary, Marshall County
  • Johnson Elementary, Fort Thomas Independent
  • Tompkinsville Elementary, Monroe County
  • Stopher Elementary, Jefferson County

The Kentucky schools are among the 337 public and private, elementary, middle and high schools across the country recognized this year. There are also five private schools in Kentucky named as part of the 2014 cohort of Blue Ribbon Schools.

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9 schools, district recognized for best practices

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) recognized nine schools and one district for best practices during the second annual Continuous Improvement Summit on Tuesday.

Education Commissioner Terry Holliday presented each winner with a $500 check that can be used toward school improvement.

“We have some terrific work going on in our schools and districts,” Holliday said. “Their efforts to create innovative new frameworks for advancing student performance, improving learning conditions, or enhancing organizational effectiveness are commendable. We appreciate their initiative and commitment to continuous improvement, and hope others can learn from it.”

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Fake invoice scam targets schools

Attorney General Jack Conway, the Kentucky Department of Education and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) are joining together to warn Kentucky school districts to be vigilant of a scam targeting schools throughout the country.

“Schools are receiving invoices for textbooks they didn’t order,” Conway said.  “It’s troubling that scammers are preying on schools and attempting to steal taxpayer money used to pay for the resources needed to help educate our children.  We want every school in Kentucky to be aware of these fraudulent invoices so that they can quickly identify and report them.”

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24 win Ashland Inc. Teacher Achievement Awards

The Kentucky Department of Education and Ashland Inc. have selected 24 outstanding Kentucky educators as recipients of the 2015 Ashland Inc. Teacher Achievement Awards (TAA). These teachers qualify to compete for the 2015 Kentucky Teacher of the Year Award, which will be announced next month.

The 24 winning teachers, listed by school and school district, are:

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New board members share thoughts on Ky. education

New Kentucky Board of Education members Debra Cook and Samuel Hinkle were sworn in by Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd during the board's annual retreat in Frankfort.  Photo by Amy Wallot, Aug. 6, 2014

New Kentucky Board of Education members Debra Cook and Samuel Hinkle were sworn in by Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd during the board’s annual retreat in Frankfort.
Photo by Amy Wallot, Aug. 6, 2014

The two newest members of the Kentucky Board of Education, Samuel D. Hinkle IV and Debra L. Cook, were sworn in last month. We asked for their thoughts on education in Kentucky and what they hope to achieve as board members.Their responses follow.

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3 Kentucky districts get federal counseling grants

The U.S. Department of Education (USED) has awarded grants to three Kentucky school districts to support counseling programs in elementary and secondary schools.

More than $14.7 million was awarded  to 40 school districts in 20 states, USED announced Thursday.

Campbell County was the only district in the nation to receive two grants, which totaled $722, 261. Erlanger-Elsmere Independent will get $397, 480, and Woodford County schools will receive $343,941.

The new awards will aid schools in hiring qualified mental-health professionals with the goal of expanding the range, availability, quantity and quality of counseling services.

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