The Commissioner’s Raising Achievement/Closing Gaps Council (CRACGC) has issued a set of recommendations and strategies to help close achievement gaps between all groups of Kentucky’s public school students.

“I’ve directed the Kentucky Department of Education’s leadership team to immediately begin to incorporate these recommendations and strategies into the agency’s core process work,” said Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday. “The vital work of closing achievement gaps can’t be done by educators alone – community members, parents and others must become involved.”

The recommendations cover four major areas:

  • Recommendation #1: Provide information about the overall academic and social status of Kentucky’s schools and districts in a format that is useful and accessible to the general public.
  • Recommendation #2: Ensure that all students, regardless of race, gender, ethnic background or socioeconomic status, have access to a rigorous curriculum and get the support necessary to be successful in a rigorous curriculum.
  • Recommendation #3: Create an environment of high expectations, with administrators, teachers and staff taking ownership for meeting the needs of all students.
  • Recommendation #4: Create open, honest communication about the work of the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), individual districts and schools with all stakeholders.

Strategies to ensure implementation of these recommendations include:

  • design user-friendly school and district report cards that are relevant for all stakeholders
  • develop the contents of the report in such a way that it provides the details necessary to encourage student, parent and community awareness and participation in student and school improvement
  • provide guidance for the appropriate response to information provided on the report card
  • educate all stakeholders on the details of the new reporting system
  • work with media outlets to educate them on the new process and its purpose
  • develop environments in schools and districts that result in respect of all socio-cultural differences
  • engage in collaboration with parents and community members to address the academic and social (environmental) needs of the school and students
  • create an Interventions Research Center
  • reinforce the implementation of professional development at all levels
  • intentional focus by administrators and teachers on changes to help students in the classroom

CRACGC will next meet in January, and members will hear updates from KDE staff about progress in formalizing the group’s recommendations.

The 28-member group was organized in 2003 for community members across the state (parents, clergy, practitioners, community leaders and others) to provide the commissioner of education with advice and insight into strategies for addressing the achievement gaps among Kentucky’s children of color, those in poverty and those who are disadvantaged or disabled. CRACGC members serve for two years on an alternating cycle.

See details on the recommendations in the document posted at the bottom of the page here, and see more information about CRACGC here. Data related to achievement gaps is available through the KDE Open House portal.