Division Director Karen Kidwell and Associate Commissioner Amanda Ellis speak to the Kentucky Board of Education about the World Language Program Review.

Division Director Karen Kidwell and Associate Commissioner Amanda Ellis speak to the Kentucky Board of Education about the World Language Program Review.
Photo by Amy Wallot, June 4, 2014

At its meeting yesterday, the Kentucky Board of Education voted to move ahead with implementation of the World Language Program Review at the high school level in the 2014-15, with accountability in the 2015-16 school year.

Elementary and middle schools would start the planning needed to implement a world language and global competency program. Those schools would be held accountable for the World Language Program Review in 2016-17.

Board member David Karem said the state first started talking about this issue more than a quarter century ago when Toyota opened a plant in Kentucky.

“We can’t delay any longer. It’s time to move forward,” he said.

Karem said a recent report indicated that 96 percent of all markets for Kentucky trade will be outside of the United States.

“It is imperative that our students not only know how to speak another language but also understand various cultures,” Karem said.

Commissioner Terry Holliday told the board he will seek the development of a statement in support of global competency for Kentucky from workforce development, economic development and education agencies in the state.  Holliday also announced $200,000 in grants for which schools and districts can apply to support the development of online resources and planning tools to develop a world-class, model global competency program for elementary and middle schools that can be administered at a low cost. More information on the grants will be forthcoming.

In other action, the Kentucky Board of Education approved a motion to support Commissioner Holliday’s plan for moving ahead with teaching the Next-Generation Science Standards this fall in every grade, K-12, with the development of a new test for elementary and middle school occurring after the 2014-15 school year.

While there will be no K-PREP science test in 4th- and 7th-grades in the coming school year, students will still take science assessments as part of the EXPLORE (8th grade), PLAN (10th grade), ACT (11th grade) and End-of-Course (high school) tests.

Also, the board unanimously approved the Statement of Consideration for 704 KAR 3:370, the regulation governing the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System. Based on comments submitted, the board approved several minor changes in the regulation. The amended regulation now goes to the Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee.

In other action, the board approved:

• appointing Vasco Perry, a language arts teacher from Hardin Co. and reappointing Cynthia Houston, a professor at Eastern Kentucky University to the State Textbook Commission
• appointing Wesley Cooper, a world history and AP European History teacher from Fleming Co. to the Kentucky Writing Program Advisory Committee
• the 2014-15 preschool funding process and funding rates
• Kentucky Tech Policies and Procedures for state-operated area technology centers
• new district facility plans for Butler, Metcalfe, Nelson and Shelby Counties and Owensboro Independent
• a district facility plan amendment for the Henderson County School District
• the Kentucky Education Technology System (KETS) FY 2015 unmet need for local districts
• the FY 2015 Kentucky Education Technology System (KETS) expenditure plan
• 2015 Kentucky minimum specifications for school buses

In addition, the board heard updates on its strategic plan, The Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky and school districts currently in state assistance or under state management, and heard the first readings of:

• 703 KAR 5:250, Intervention Options in Priority Schools and Districts;
• 703 KAR 5:121, Repeal of 703 KAR 5:120, Assistance to Schools;
Guidelines for Scholastic Audit and 703 KAR 5:180, Intervention System for Persistently Low-Achieving Schools
• 702 KAR 7:140, School Calendars, which establishes a minimum of 170 days and 1,062 hours per school year but does not set the length of the school day
• 702 KAR 1:160, School Health Services, which would require a school employee, who is trained to administer or assist in the administration of glucagon, insulin or seizure rescue medication, to be present whenever children are present during school hours or school-sponsored activities.

Also during the meeting, the board elected Jay Parrent as vice chair to fill the vacancy created when Brigitte Blom Ramsey stepped down from the board to take a position with the Prichard Committee. The next regularly scheduled board meeting will take place Wednesday, August 7 in Frankfort. The board will meet the day before for its annual retreat.