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 07 August 2012.
Derrick Graham taught social studies at Frankfort High School (Frankfort Independent) for 27 years. He recently retired from teaching, but is still serving District 57 as a state representative. Graham said balancing his teaching job and his state representative duties was one of his biggest challenges the last 10 years. Photo by Amy Wallot, Aug. 3, 2012
For the past ten years, Derrick Graham has led a double life of sorts, serving both as a full-time high school social studies teacher and an elected state representative.
The two roles are definitely not mutually exclusive. Graham says he has always been a student of politics and government, participating in political campaigns as early as his junior and senior years in high school.
He would come to share that love of government and politics with his students, teaching social studies at Frankfort High School (Frankfort Independent) for 27 years, until his retirement at the end of this past school year.
Graham, a graduate of Frankfort High, Kentucky State University and Ohio State University, was not just content to teach his students about politics and government. He also practiced it, campaigning and winning several elected positions, including his current one as state representative for District 57. The Frankfort Democrat is serving his fourth term.
During his time in the General Assembly, Graham has chaired the House Budget Review Subcommittee on Primary and Secondary Education. He’s also a member of several other legislative committees. Read the full story
Posted in Features
Posted on 19 April 2012.
The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) has developed resources to help explain the state’s new assessment and accountability model for public schools.
KDE has dedicated a page on its website to the Unbridled Learning: College/Career Readiness for All model, which was developed in response to the mandates of 2009’s Senate Bill 1. The page is accessible by clicking the Unbridled Learning icon on the KDE homepage or here.
Items posted on the page include two brochures – one on assessment, another on accountability – aimed at parents, but also intended for a general audience. Those brochures are posted near the bottom of the page, in two formats (a printable brochure layout and a text version).
Another posted item called Unbridled Learning Summary provides a graphic representation of the way the new accountability model will impact schools and districts.
Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday explains the new accountability model in a videotaped presentation, also now available. The presentation may be accessed at mms://video1.education.ky.gov/Accountability_4-12-2012.
The Unbridled Learning accountability model will be applied for the first time to test scores and other data from the current school year. This month, public school students begin taking the new Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP) tests in reading, mathematics, science, social studies and writing. Read the full story
Posted in News
Posted on 07 February 2012.
Commissioner Terry Holliday
Twenty-six million dollars is a big number.
That is the amount some are estimating it will cost Kentucky taxpayers to raise the compulsory school attendance age from 16 to 18.
I and the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) have counted such a change as a top priority in past legislative sessions. The 2012 session is no exception.
We believe the change is in line with reform efforts we have been undertaking as part of Senate Bill 1 (SB1) – a piece of legislation passed in 2009 with the overwhelming support of the House and Senate.
That bill has numerous components and directives, but at the end of the day it calls on us to do one thing for all Kentucky students: Prepare them for college or the workplace. In turn, those prepared students will succeed and benefit our commonwealth.
Given that mandate, how can we then deem it acceptable for a 16-year-old to drop out of high school without the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed? How can we turn our backs on the students that likely need us the most? These students may be some of the hardest to reach, but they also are some of the most vulnerable.
There are those who see dropouts not as a problem, but rather a solution that rids our schools of unmotivated students who can be disruptive and uncooperative. (Dropouts, by the way, also rid schools of SEEK funding they would receive had those students stayed in school.) Read the full story
Posted in Commissioner's Comments
Posted on 02 February 2012.
The Kentucky Reading Project (KRP) is a professional development program that focuses on Senate Bill 1 mandates; Kentucky Core Academic Standards; college and career readiness preparation; and formative assessments.
KRP is a yearlong graduate-level course centered on research-based reading instruction. It is taught by literacy faculty at each of the eight state universities. Teachers in grades K-5 may participate in KRP and will receive a stipend and graduate credit upon completion of the course in May 2013.
The National Center for Family Literacy provides one day of training at each site. This initiative is directed by the Collaborative Center for Literacy Development. More than 2,900 educators have been trained through this program in 13 years.
For more information about KRP and the application for the 2012-13 cadre, go to http://www.kentuckyliteracy.org/elementary/krp/forms or contact Cary Pappas, at (859) 257-6118.
Posted in Bulletin Board, Conferences & Workshops
Posted on 12 January 2012.
Kentucky’s ranking in an annual grading of all states on key education indicators rose dramatically this year, placing the state 14th in the nation for its work on academic standards, the teaching profession and many other variables related to public education.
Each year, Education Week (a national publication that focuses on P-12 education) produces a special issue, “Quality Counts.” The report tracks key education indicators and grades states on their policy efforts and outcomes. Last year,Kentucky ranked 34th in the nation in this annual report.
“Kentuckians should take a great deal of pride in the Commonwealth’s standings related to P-12 education,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “Kentucky continues to show measureable progress in education, and the rankings provided in ‘Quality Counts’ recognize the hard work of teachers, administrators, parents and community members.”
“Much of the impetus for Kentucky’s high ranking can be traced to 2009’s Senate Bill 1,” said Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday. “That legislation set us on a course to become a leader nationwide, and with the support of Gov. Beshear, legislators, teachers, administrators and parents,Kentucky’s work in school accountability, teacher training, college/career readiness and stronger academic standards is moving us in the right direction.” Read the full story
Posted in News
Posted on 27 December 2011.
The U.S. Department of Education announced last week that Kentucky will receive a Race to the Top grant of $17 million to advance targeted K-12 reforms aimed at improving student achievement.
Kentucky and six other states — Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — will each receive a share of the $200 million in Race to the Top Round 3 (RTT3) fund.
“While the grant amount is significantly less than the original $175 million request, we are very excited about being able to gain funds to implement Senate Bill 1 initiatives and expand AdvanceKentucky sites,” said Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday. “Within the budget of $17 million, we will use state and district allocations to implement professional development and resources for Senate Bill 1.”
Senate Bill 1, passed in the 2009 session of the General Assembly, calls for a new assessment and accountability system for the state’s public schools, along with more rigorous academic standards, intensive teacher and administrator training, and strengthened collaboration among higher education, teacher/administrator certification and P-12 education sectors. Read the full story
Posted in News
Posted on 22 December 2011.
Kentucky college professors recently learned about new approaches to teaching public school students mathematics, literacy and writing skills at a conference organized by the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.
Faculty members from 25 state universities, private institutions and community colleges heard from Kentucky teachers from Kenton and Fayette counties who are working with the Mathematics Design Collaborative and Literacy Design Collaborative, piloting efforts to improve teaching and learning.
The Prichard Committee has worked to coordinate the districts piloting these new mathematics and literacy efforts in Kentucky, which were funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
“These new strategies have shown great promise for giving students a deeper understanding of math concepts and connecting writing to challenging thinking in science, social studies and language arts classes,” said Stu Silberman, executive director of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.
The seminar, funded by the Council on Postsecondary Education and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is part of a state-backed program to update postsecondary leaders and educators on the impact of overhauled academic standards that K-12 students are expected to learn as part of Senate Bill 1. Read the full story
Posted in Leadership Letter
Posted on 30 June 2011.
From KSBA Executive Director Bill Scott
As Kentucky implements Senate Bill 1, the most comprehensive reforms since the passage of KERA (Kentucky Education Reform Act), board teams will be challenged to fully comprehend their specific roles and responsibilities related to the new standards, assessments and accountability system. KSBA is acutely aware of these pressures as district personnel translate the Commonwealth Commitment to College and/or Career Readiness into the reality of local teaching and learning.
KSBA has created a series of board team professional development workshops designed to assist members in this area. Because research indicates that the most effective district leaders learn together as board/superintendent teams, these trainings are designed to be provided on site by a KSBA trainer.
- All Students College and Career Ready – This two-hour session is designed to help boards better understand the purpose of Senate Bill 1 as it relates to college and career readiness for all students. Board teams will review the requirements of the law and receive the most current information related to the new standards, testing measures and district strategies related to this goal. All components of the law are discussed within the context of the specific roles and responsibilities of the local board.
- Shaping Our Future: A School Board’s Guide to the TELL Kentucky Working Conditions Survey – This 90- minute session was designed by KSBA and the New Teacher Center, the consulting group that created and managed the TELL Kentucky survey. Board teams will gain a better understanding of their districts’ results as well as how these results can be used to improve conditions for their staff. Discussions will focus on how the five leadership roles of effective school boards can be utilized to translate survey results into improved working conditions for district staff.
As the Kentucky Board of Education and Department of Education implement additional aspects of this agenda, KSBA will develop more training modules. For more information or to schedule one of the above sessions for your board, contact Kerri Schelling, KSBA director of Board Team Development, at (800) 372-2962.
Posted in Leadership Letter
Posted on 28 April 2011.
The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) will provide tools to analyze resource decisions to improve school districts’ operational processes and free resources to invest in the work of Senate Bill 1 through the Performance Excellence Connection Project.
The “Kentucky Best Practices” website is a component of the project, and it will enable school districts to share solutions to common operational issues. Best practices and promising approaches may be submitted by superintendents, principals, finance officers, directors of pupil personnel, district assessment coordinators and others in management roles. Read the full story
Posted in Leadership Letter