(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – At its meeting in Frankfort Aug. 4, the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) approved revisions to the Program Review process, among other business.

A Program Review is a systematic method of analyzing a school instructional program and is designed to improve the quality of teaching and learning for all students, provide equitable access to quality programs, and afford students a way to demonstrate learning beyond a paper-and-pencil test. Program Reviews are required by statute, are part of the current accountability system and are conducted in Arts and Humanities; Global Competency-World Languages; K-3 programs; Practical Living/Career Studies and Writing.

For 2016-17, the Program Review process is greatly streamlined. Rubrics have been reduced from up to 56 pages to 8-10 pages and only two programs will be scored each year rather than every program. The requirements for the submission of evidences, written rationales and next steps to the Kentucky Department of Education have been eliminated as well. Instead, the principal, school-based decision making council and superintendent will sign assurances ensuring support for continuously providing quality programs and to expand opportunities for all students.

“I’m not going to tell you this is going to cure all the ills or address all of the validity concerns with Program Reviews,” Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt told the board. “Hopefully it will improve the process and help shift the focus from compliance to doing what is right for our kids.”

The changes are based on input from practicing educators who served on the Commissioner’s Task Force on Program Reviews, which was charged with providing solutions to the major issues schools and districts have raised about Program Reviews and increasing the effectiveness and quality of the Program Reviews for the upcoming school year.

Also, during the meeting, the board approved:

  • 702 KAR 3:171, repeal of 702 KAR 3:170, Educational Television Equipment Purchases
  • a request for waiver from 702 KAR 4:050, Section 4(4)(a), requirement that the Hopkins County Board of Education acquire mineral rights forbearance prior to purchasing a property in Madisonville
  • Kentucky Education Technology System (KETS) 2017 fiscal year unmet need for local education agencies (LEAs)
  • KETS Trust Fund – 2017 fiscal year allocation
  • district facility plans for Clark County, Eminence Independent, Monroe County, Russell County and Trimble County
  • the appointment of Chris LeMonds, principal of the Burgin Independent School, to the Kentucky School for the Deaf Advisory Board; and the appointment of Kimberly Mucker Johnson, an educator from Jefferson County, to the Kentucky Writing Program Advisory Committee
  • 780 KAR 4:012, repeal of 780 KAR 4:010, General Standards
  • 705 KAR 4:231, General Program Standards for Secondary Career and Technical Education Programs

In other business, the board chose new officers for the upcoming school year. Members unanimously elected Bill Twyman as chair and Mary Gwen Wheeler as vice-chair. Roger Marcum, who had served as chair of the board for the past three years was ineligible to serve again according to board policy.

Bill Twyman

Bill Twyman

Twyman is the first African American chair since the board was reconstituted under the Kentucky Education Reform Act in 1990. In accepting his role as chair, Twyman said “I look forward to working with the board and thank the board for having trust in me. I will try to do my best for the children of Kentucky – all children.”

At its meeting, the board heard updates on recommendations from the Education Professional Standards Board’s Combating Inappropriate Student-Teacher Relationship Task Force; work of the Hope Street Group; the Summer Food Service Program; and progress in state-assisted and state-managed school districts.

In addition, the board presented the Joseph W. Kelly Award to Kentucky business leaders, Brent Cooper, president of C-Forward Information Technologies of Covington, and Audwin Helton, president and chief executive officer of Spatial Data Integrations Inc. of Louisville, for their support of public education.

At its retreat Aug. 3, the board discussed the current accountability model – what works and what doesn’t – in preparation for the design of a new accountability system under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The board also started work on revising its strategic plan and approved future meeting dates.

Support materials used at the retreat and in the board meeting are available on the board’s portal here. The next regular meeting of the Kentucky Board of Education is scheduled for Oct. 4-5 in Frankfort.