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Kentucky eTranscript to ease college admissions process

Kentucky high school seniors will soon be able to send electronic transcripts to Kentucky colleges and universities, as well as some out of state schools, using the free Kentucky eTranscript process, Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson said today.

“The statewide adoption of electronic transcripts will streamline the college admissions process, in some cases allowing students to complete the process totally online,” said Abramson. “The eTranscript system will be easy for our students to use, and it will reduce costs and save time for all parties.”

Jefferson County will be the first to make the system available districtwide. By the end of the year, Kentucky eTranscript should be available to students in public and private high schools across the state, as school districts are phased in and go live with the system.

Kentucky’s eTranscript is provided free to high school students, school districts, colleges and universities by the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE), the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) and the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) which collaborated on the project. There is a nominal charge for students to send transcripts to non-participating colleges or universities. Continue Reading

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More than 100 districts adopt ‘Graduate Kentucky’ attendance age standard; votes still coming in

More than half of all Kentucky school districts raced to adopt the new “Graduate Kentucky” standard keeping students in school through age 18 or until they earn a high school diploma, and Gov. Steve Beshear and Education Commissioner Terry Holliday have recommended that remaining school districts still adopt the policy proactively.

Senate Bill 97 (SB 97), known as the “Graduate Kentucky” bill, passed this year and phases in an increase in the compulsory school attendance age from 16 to 18, amending the school attendance law created in 1934. So far, 105 school districts have approved the policy change.

“School districts should still move forward and adopt the ‘Graduate Kentucky’ attendance standard, and begin the work toward keeping students in school right away,” Beshear said. “There is no reason to delay putting in place this common-sense expectation of our students – particularly when this attendance age will become a statewide standard by the 2017-18 school year.”

June 25 was the first day to approve the new compulsory attendance age. Leaders launched “Blitz to 96” – an effort to get 96 school districts (55 percent of all districts) to approve a policy raising the compulsory school age from 16 to 18, because once that number approved the change, the remaining school districts would be obligated to adopt and implement the policy within four years. The first 96 districts to approve the change earned $10,000 grants from the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) to plan for full implementation in the 2015-16 school year.

“We are still getting reports every day that more districts have taken the bold step of adopting the ‘Graduate Kentucky’ age policy, and those actions show us that there was a real desire by our schools and communities to implement this action quickly,” First Lady Jane Beshear said.

“We hope that all of our local boards of education realize what a profound impact this policy will have on their communities and the lives of at-risk students and not wait,” Commissioner Holliday said. “The Kentucky Department of Education is committed to support districts implementing strategies and programs that will ensure the additional time students spend in school will be productive and ensure they graduate college/career-ready.”

Once a district passes a compulsory school age policy, it should notify KDE following the process on this Web page.

The first districts to adopt the policy in the “Blitz to 96” will be invited to Frankfort for a special news conference with Gov. Beshear and Commissioner Holliday to recognize them for their swift action.

Research shows that high school graduates live longer, are less likely to be teen parents, and are more likely to raise healthier, better-educated children. High school graduates also are less likely to commit crimes, rely on government healthcare or use other public services.

More information about Graduate Kentucky, a list of districts that have approved the policy and resources available to school districts are available at


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Lovell named national GEAR UP Professional of the Year

Yvonne Lovell

Yvonne Lovell

Yvonne Lovell of Louisville was selected from a national pool as the 2013 Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) Professional of the Year. GEAR UP is a federally funded college access and readiness program that serves more than 700,000 low-income students.

“Yvonne has worked tirelessly to identify GEAR UP as the natural bridge between K-12 and postsecondary education reform efforts across the Commonwealth,” said Bob King, Council on Postsecondary Education president. “Yvonne’s voice was an invaluable resource in defining Kentucky’s Strategic Agenda for Postsecondary and Adult Education. The result is a long-range plan that features GEAR UP as a central and sustained strategy to increase the college readiness and success of low-income Kentucky students.”

Since 2000, Lovell has served as executive director of GEAR UP Kentucky 3.0, the statewide GEAR UP project for Kentucky now in its third round of funding. The current program works with 50 middle and high schools in 21 counties to help more than 14,000 Kentucky students and their families know how to prepare, apply and pay for college. The program is administered by the Council on Postsecondary Education.

“Because Yvonne is always exploring the promise and practices of the GEAR UP program both in Kentucky and across the country, her legacy and impact are still being defined, but her role as a prominent leader among GEAR UP professionals is unquestionable,” said Nathan Monell, president and CEO of the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships. “She is fearless and unwavering in the certainty that every student is capable and deserving of the opportunities that college success affords.”

According to a recently released Council report, the GEAR UP Kentucky II program (2005-2011) resulted in a 22 percentage point increase in the college-going rate of participating schools. Before participating, the college-going rate in GEAR UP Kentucky II high schools was 10 percent below the statewide rate; in 2011, this gap was closed.

The program also far exceeded its goal to increase students’ awareness of financial aid, with 85 percent of students reporting that they understood the various options available to help pay for college.

The award is presented annually to an individual employed by one of the 128 GEAR UP programs funded nationwide. Nominees must have demonstrated an exemplary commitment to ensuring college access and success is available to all students. The awardee is selected by the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships in recognition of demonstrating excellence with outstanding results.

Prior to joining the Council staff in 2000, Lovell was the executive assistant to the deputy commissioner for higher education at the New York State Education Department in Albany, N.Y. Her professional experiences span the gamut of higher education as a financial aid director, placement services and summer program director.

Lovell earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester and completed her graduate education in counseling and higher education administration at the University at Albany.


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‘Blitz to 96’ a success; age 18 policy to be implemented statewide

Gov. Steve Beshear, First Lady Jane Beshear and Education Commissioner Terry Holliday yesterday commended school boards across Kentucky that raced to adopt the new “Graduate Kentucky” standard, keeping students in school until they earn a high school diploma or turn 18.

Just two weeks after they could vote to raise the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18, 96 school districts have adopted the policy and more are in the process of approving it.

“After five years of hard work by Commissioner Holliday, the First Lady and others to implement raising the compulsory graduation age to 18, I am overwhelmed by the support our school boards have shown by racing to adopt this policy,” said Gov. Beshear.  “We know that keeping our students in school will not only offer them a better future, but will ensure that Kentucky has a better-trained, better-prepared workforce that will benefit the state for decades to come.  Implementing this important policy shows that Kentucky puts a high value on education by putting faith in our students.”

Senate Bill 97 (SB 97), known as the “Graduate Kentucky” bill, passed earlier this year and phases in an increase in the compulsory school attendance age from 16 to 18, amending the school attendance law created in 1934.

Students who graduate from an accredited or an approved four-year high school before they turn 18 are exempt from the new policy, Gov. Beshear noted. Continue Reading

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Draft arts standards released for public review

The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) has released its PreK-8 draft standards for an online public review through July 15.

Anyone with an interest is welcome to participate in the public review of one or more of the discipline grade-band drafts in dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts. The draft PreK-8 standards are available on the NCCAS website, along with detailed instructions on how to provide input.

The Kentucky General Assembly, as part of Senate Bill 1 (2009), mandated new academic standards in all subjects including arts and humanities and directed the Kentucky Department of Education in cooperation with the Council on Postsecondary Education to consider standards that have been adopted by national content advisory groups and professional education consortia.

NCCAS is the coalition of national arts and education organizations and media arts representatives that are developing the 2014 National Core Arts Standards. NCCAS standards chairs from each of the five arts disciplines and Project Director Philip Shepherd, Kentucky musician and arts educator, have been working with national writing teams in Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts to Continue Reading

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Beshear appoints two to Southern Regional Education Board

Gov. Steve Beshear appointed a new Kentucky representatives to the Southern Regional Education Board.

State Rep. Derrick Graham, D-Frankfort, who serves as chairman of the House Education Committee, will replace state Rep. Carl P. Rollins, who resigned. Graham will serve on the board through June 30, 2015.

Beseahr also reappointed Joseph U. Meyer, of Covington, who previously served as secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. Meyer’s term runs through June 30, 2017.



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Gov. Beshear to chair Southern Regional Education Board

Signaling his commitment to continuing improvements in education for Kentucky and the region, Gov. Steve Beshear accepted chairmanship of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB).

He was elected to lead the 80-member board of governors, legislators and state education leaders as they explore ways to advance the educational performance of students at every level.  The board’s annual meeting was held in New Orleans this week.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to work with other state leaders as we all have the common goal of high achievement for all of our students,” said Gov. Beshear. “As our world is technologically evolving every day, we have the critical responsibility to keep up with new expectations and prepare our students to be competitive on a global level.”

Education has been a top priority of the Beshear administration. The governor has repeatedly protected classroom funding by excluding SEEK from cuts through 13 budget reductions.

Emphasizing his commitment to improving education and health services for Kentucky’s youngest citizens, Gov. Beshear created the Early Childhood Advisory Council to focus on school readiness standards. He has also supported preschool expansion. Continue Reading

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Fifty-four school districts adopt new attendance age

Within two days of the official implementation of the “Graduate Kentucky” bill to promote high school graduation, 54 Kentucky school districts have voted to increase their compulsory attendance age.

On Tuesday, Gov. Steve Beshear, First Lady Jane Beshear, and Education Commissioner Terry Holliday challenged the state’s school districts to adopt the new policy, and the leaders are encouraged by the districts’ enthusiastic response.

“I’m ecstatic that so many school districts are taking immediate steps to help students build a better future by encouraging them to stay in school through graduation,” said Gov. Beshear.  “The fact that so many districts have adopted the graduation age so quickly shows that our communities understand the importance of changing this antiquated policy, and I congratulate them for their action.”

Senate Bill 97 (SB 97), known as the “Graduate Kentucky” bill, passed this year and phases in an increase in the compulsory school attendance age from 16 to 18, amending the school attendance law created in 1934. Continue Reading

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Kentucky eTranscript Inititiave streamlines the college admissions process

Beginning this summer, Kentucky high school students can send their transcripts and other documents to participating postsecondary members of the Parchment Exchange electronically at no cost to themselves, their high school or the recipient.

The statewide adoption of electronic transcripts will complete the online and paperless delivery of all materials necessary for college admissions.

All Kentucky public high schools will participate to maximize the benefit of the eTranscript. It has proven to reduce costs and save time. High school students and counselors benefit by having a simplified request and delivery mechanism available 24-7. Colleges and universities benefit by having one transcript format to work from, less mail to process and the ability to integrate with the common application.

If you have questions or comments, please contact Dede Conner with the Office of Knowledge, Information and Data Services (KIDS) at

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New app provides instant access to education information

Android phone and tablet users now have a new app available athat compiles content from the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) to enhance communications on education-related matters across the state.

The free KDE News app is available through the Google Play Store. The app is designed to provider users with immediate access to many items houses on the KDE website, including:

  • Kentucky Teacher
  • Messages to superintendents and teachers
  • Headlines
  • Education Commissioner Terry Holliday’s blog
  • Videos
  • Kentucky Education Technology (KETS) Tech Tips
  • Photo Gallery

The app is the latest in the a line of technology products from KDE to help the agency share information and provide transparency. iPhone, iPad and iPod as well as Windows Phone versions were previously released and are also available. If you are a Windows Phone user, the app can he downloaded here. If you are an Apple users and haven’t downloaded the app yet, it can be downloaded and installed from the App Store on iTunes.



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