The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) has awarded $11,500 to the Kentucky Board of Education to advance the state’s education reform work on Kentucky Core Academic Standards (English/language arts, mathematics and science) and Measures of Deeper Learning. Kentucky is one of only six state boards to receive a stipend award. The grant will support the board’s efforts through December.

Kentucky’s stipend will fund the exploration of new and innovative approaches to assessment and accountability that more authentically measure a student’s mastery of content as well as other non-cognitive “deeper learning” competencies like collaboration, creativity and critical thinking. The board’s efforts will inform implementation and lay the groundwork for future communications strategies and messaging around 21st-century assessments.

“The Kentucky Board of Education is grateful to NASBE for this funding,” Kentucky Board of Education Chair Roger Marcum said. “With implementation of new standards, it will allow the board to explore options for assessment including more formative and performance-based alternatives which is consistent with what is outlined in Senate Bill 1 (2009).”

The board will hold a study session on innovative assessments during its annual board retreat in August at which it will hear from former commissioner and Director of the National Center for Innovation in Education Gene Wilhoit.  The following month, the topic will be discussed among the state’s 173 superintendents at their annual summit.

NASBE’s highly competitive state stipend program is part of the organization’s ongoing efforts to strengthen state boards of education in their efforts to ensure that every student is prepared for college, career, and civic success.

For the first time, NASBE encouraged states to develop “connected” plans for multiple stipends, enabling award winners to leverage increased funding for their work while promoting greater coherence across policy areas. Kentucky took advantage of this opportunity.

“Through the essential decisions they will make on these issues in the coming years, state boards of education will remain vital to advancing important education reform efforts in the state,” says NASBE Executive Director Kristen Amundson. “Kentucky’s stipend will not only help its board navigate the implementation challenges ahead, but what members learn through this experience will help other states advance education policies focused on college, career, and civic readiness.”