By Brenna R. Kelly

After analyzing cost, usage and receiving feedback from districts, the Kentucky Department of Education has decided to continue to use most of the components of the Continuous Instructional Improvement Technology System (CIITS) for another year.

The CIITS system was designed to help teachers and districts become more efficient and effective, and allow them to collect and share data more easily. Each month 45,000 teachers and 3,500 administrators use at least one piece of the system.

CIITS consists of the Educator Development Suite (EDS), the Instructional Management System (IMS), and PD360 (Edivation/Edivate).

After problems with the EDS, as teachers entered information needed for the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System, KDE decided to re-evaluate its support of the technology platform.

During the Kentucky Board of Education meeting Wednesday, Commissioner Terry Holliday announced KDE’s decision to discontinue use of the PD 360 (Edivation/Edivate) component.

PD 360 (Edivation/Edivate), which provided accesses to training videos and best practices, cost the department $4 million a year. It was also the least used component with only 9 percent of CIITS users accessing the tool this year.

The department will continue to support the Educator Development Suite (EDS), the Instructional Management System (IMS) for the 2015-16 school year. However, KDE will only provide full access to EDS for districts who plan to use the system to collect sources of evidence for the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System. Districts must notify KDE whether they plan to use EDS by June 15. All districts will still be required to submit summative PGES data for certified staff through EDS.

For districts that do not plan to use EDS, KDE will provide criteria for building, buying or acquiring their own EDS-type system.

The commissioner also decided to continue to use ASSIST, which is use of school and district improvement plans for another.

Prior to making the decision, Holliday presented the situation to the commissioner’s advisory groups and sent a survey to all superintendents. The survey was open for two weeks and resulted in feedback from 157 of 173 districts.

Holliday also told the board that KDE will continue to work with the software vendors to improve all technology so that end users have a more positive experience.

For more information about the evaluation of the CIITS System see Kentucky Teacher’s previous story:
Future of technology system designed to improve instruction and effectiveness in question