Posted on 25 October 2012.
The Kentucky Department of Education will release test score and school/district accountability data on Friday, Nov. 2.
This marks the first release of data from the Unbridled Learning accountability model, which Kentucky implemented beginning in the 2011-12 school year. The data to be released on Nov. 2 reflects test scores and other information from that school year.
The Unbridled Learning model holds public schools and districts accountable for five primary areas:
- Achievement – student performance on subject-area tests
- Gap – gaps in academic performance among students who are ethnic minorities, have disabilities, are English language learners or come from low-income households and students who do not fit into those categories
- Growth – student academic growth in reading and mathematics Read the full story
Posted in News
Posted on 25 September 2012.
Education recovery specialists Rick Larson and Pebbles Lancaster and guidance counselor Angie McGee meet with other leadership members during their first meeting of the school year at Livingston Central High School (Livingston County).
Education recovery specialists (ERS) are expected to figuratively roll up their sleeves and get to work helping schools improve. But ERS Pebbles Lancaster will tell you they do that literally, too.
Arriving at a persistently low achieving (PLA) school, Lancaster and her state team noticed the school was in need of a physical makeover.
“As a team, we rolled up our sleeves, painted rooms, scrubbed lockers and cleaned gunk off stairs,” Lancaster said. “Our goal was to make our building inviting and to bring back that pride that had existed before.”
Just as important, the effort showed teachers and administrators that she was there to help.
“We were at their service,” she said, “willing to do anything to assist their school, even if it meant getting our hands dirty and paint everywhere.”
The effort helped Lancaster and her team – and their services – earn acceptance in the district, she said. Read the full story
Posted in Features
Posted on 13 September 2012.
Kentucky’s new school and student accountability and assessment system meets the requirements of Senate Bill 1 and the pledges of the state’s waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act. For Kentucky school board members and superintendents, one of those challenges will be explaining the Unbridled Learning system and what the measures of student achievement mean at the local level.
To help school board members, KSBA is devoting the program of this year’s Fall Regional Meetings to this topic. The program will include an examination of:
- school and district measures of achievement, growth, gap, college and career readiness and high school graduation rates
- how those numbers lead to an overall score, resulting in a first-ever set of rankings by the state for every elementary, middle and high school and district
- what parents will see in the new school report cards, which measure each student’s test scores in reading, mathematics, science and language arts skills. Read the full story
Posted in Leadership Letter
Posted on 04 September 2012.
Commissioner Terry Holliday
The Kentucky Department of Education will release the results of the first Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP) next month.
I know there is great anticipation – and maybe anxiousness – about what the results will reveal.
Kentucky educators are drawn to teaching by the belief they can make a positive difference in students’ lives – and you are.
So, it is difficult to be on the receiving end of what may be seen as bad news. Yet, we know for many of our schools that will the case with this first round of K-PREP results.
Science and social studies scores should be in line with past scores since the tests were based on the 2007 Kentucky Core Content for Assessment 4.1.But that’s not the case in English/language arts and mathematics.
Kentucky’s adoption of the more rigorous Common Core State Standards and K-PREP assessments tied to those standards, will lead to proficiency rates among students that are lower than what we’ve seen previously in the Kentucky Core Content Tests (KCCT). Read the full story
Posted in Commissioner's Comments
Posted on 02 August 2012.
Gov. Steve Beshear recently made several appointment to several education-related boards and commissions.
The following members have been appointed to the School Curriculum, Assessment and Accountability Council to serve for terms expiring April 20, 2014:
- Holly Bloodworth, of Murray, is a teacher for Murray Independent Schools. She represents teachers. The appointment replaces Patrice McCrary, whose term has expired.
- Phyllis O’Neal, of Marion, is principal of Calvert City Elementary School. She represents principals. The appointment replaces Denise A. Whitaker, whose term has expired.
- Thomas R. Guskey, of Lexington, is a professor at the University of Kentucky. He represents professors with experience in assessment and measurement. The appointment replaces Edward B. Reeves, whose term has expired.
- Jerry T. Green, of Pikeville, is superintendent of Pikeville Independent Schools. He represents superintendents. The appointment replaces Lu S. Young, whose term has expired. Read the full story
Posted in News
Posted on 21 June 2012.
On July 30 and 31, the Allen County school district will host a two-day institute featuring Harvey Silver, Ed.D., and content from his new book, Tools for Thoughtful Assessment.
Silver will present a variety of classroom-tested tools and techniques that teachers can use to address the critical components of assessment. Participants will learn:
- a variety of tools to help make the move from traditional evaluation to assessment for learning
- how to use these tools to assess before, during and at the end of instruction
- how to adapt these tools to meet specific assessment and instructional goals, such as developing clear learning targets, teaching students how to produce high-quality work and helping students monitor their own learning
Participation is open to personnel from any Kentucky school district. For more details, contact Rick Fisher, director of instruction for the Allen County school district.
Posted in Bulletin Board, Conferences & Workshops
Posted on 10 May 2012.
Teachers and administrators can join international experts and practitioners as they showcase successful practices for implementing standards and effective assessment practices at the Meeting the Challenge: Implementing Standards and Assessment Practices conference.
This event will be July 16-18 in Lexington, and early-bird registration has been extended to May 25.
Pre-conference sessions provide an in-depth focus on implementing Highly Effective Teaching and Learning (HETL), focusing on the standards, assessment, literacy and leadership for effective change. Conference sessions provide a variety of curricular, instructional and leadership strategies for educators at all levels to assist in providing high-quality instruction to students, improving their learning and ensuring they are college- and career-ready.
A maximum of 450 participants can participate.
Go to http://www.uky.edu/p12mathscience for more information.
Posted in Bulletin Board, Conferences & Workshops
Posted on 08 May 2012.
By Ken Draut
Transformative Assessment in Action: An Inside Look at Applying the Process
by W. James Popham might be the best testing book I’ve read in 25 years.
Written in 2011, Popham outlines how to apply the process of formative assessment to a classroom. There are no silver bullets in improving education, but this book is worth its weight in gold.
Popham provides a more formal definition of formative assessment in an earlier work, but reminds us formative assessment “is a planned process in which teachers or students use assessment-elicited evidence to improve what they’re doing.” Formative assessment is not a test; it is a planned process resulting in instructional changes that help students learn. Notice one of the key words is “planned.” The formative process is well thought out and systematically collected, and then the data is used by the teacher to make improvements in instruction. The most important thing about formative assessment is “what goes on inside a teacher’s head” as the teacher reviews the data collected from a variety of methods. Instructional ideas and adjustments are keys to making formative assessment one of the most powerful tools. Read the full story
Posted in Book Review
Posted on 12 April 2012.
I’ve been spending a lot of time in the 300s section of my school library. As part of my practicum experience for my Rank I in library science, my supervising librarians gave me an assignment to update some of the career titles in our library.
As I went through the many outdated career books from the 1990s this past week, I realized how many careers have come into existence since I was in high school. I also realized what a strange predicament today’s educators are in. We are preparing our students for 21st-century careers, but many of these careers don’t even exist yet. How do we make sure we are providing our students with the skill sets they will need, when their future career opportunities are unknown? And how do we navigate our instruction at a time when test scores are being used as the primary gauge for effective learning and instruction? It is an overwhelming situation. Teachers want our students to be college- and career-ready, but we are forced to assess students in ways that do not align with 21st-century skill sets.
Kentucky’s adoption and implementation of the Common Core Standards is certainly the first step in preparing our students for the 21st century. The Common Core Standards emphasize critical thinking, collaboration, information literacy and a host of other important, transferable skill sets that will empower Kentucky students to be successful in both college and today’s global workforce. The Common Core Standards also empower teachers to be innovative in their instruction, as we are now tackling Read the full story
Posted in Kentucky Teacher of the Year
Posted on 13 March 2012.
By Susan Riddell
Jessica McPherson helps 4th-grade students Keaton Emmert and Morgan Comer with an assignment on equivalent fractions at Gamaliel Elementary School (Monroe County). Photo by Amy Wallot, Feb. 2, 2012
Gamaliel Elementary School (Monroe County) earned its 2011 National Blue Ribbon School honor for helping students achieve at high levels and for making significant progress in closing achievement gaps.
Despite the recognition and being on the right track, administrators were willing to gamble with a big change in the school’s grading system, not wanting to be complacent with recent success.
Gamaliel Elementary wiped out grades for the 2011-12 school year for grades K-5. Instead, the school has opted for standards-based report cards.
“Our focus is strictly on student mastery of the Kentucky Core Academic Standards,” Principal Christie Biggerstaff said. “Teachers are delivering content and are constantly assessing to ensure student mastery.”
Student- and parent-friendly report cards focus on learning targets. Mastery of learning targets is reported as mastery, partial mastery or non-mastery.
“Instead of getting a grade in math, all math learning targets are listed to show parents which targets their child has mastered, which are partially mastered and which are not mastered,” said teacher Felisa Brooks. Read the full story
Posted in Features