Social studies standards approved by regulation subcommittee

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  • Senate Bill 1 (2017) calls for the Kentucky Department of Education to implement a process for reviewing all academic standards and aligned assessments beginning in the 2017-18 school year
  • KDE recently unveiled a new website designed to be a one-stop shop for information on the Kentucky Academic Standards.

By Jacob Perkins
Jacob.perkins@education.ky.gov

The Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee approved new social studies standards during its May 14 meeting at the Capitol Annex in Frankfort and will tentatively go into law July 5.

Senate Bill 1 (2017) calls for the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) to implement a process for reviewing all academic standards and aligned assessments beginning in the 2017-2018 school year. The proposed schedule​​ calls for one or two content areas to be reviewed each year and every six years thereafter on a rotating basis. This process began in January 2018 for social studies.

“Senate Bill 1 made it very clear that the expectation of the Kentucky General Assembly was that Kentucky’s academic standards be revised, and that they be revised by Kentuckians,” Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis said.

According to SB1, “The department shall establish four (4) standards and assessments review and development committees, with each committee composed of a minimum of six (6) Kentucky public school teachers and a minimum of two (2) representatives from Kentucky institutions of higher education, including at least one (1) representative from a public institution of higher education. Each committee member shall teach in the subject area that his or her committee is assigned to review and have no prior or current affiliation with a curriculum or assessment resources vendor.”

“We have, in fact, followed the law to the letter,” Lewis said. “These revised standards have been written, not by the Kentucky Department of Education or the Kentucky Board of Education, but they have been written by teams of Kentucky teachers.”

The standards outline the minimum knowledge and skills Kentucky students should learn in each grade-level, kindergarten through 8th-grade or high school grade-span. The standards address what is to be learned, the goals and outcomes of the K-12 educational program.

Carly Muetterties, executive director of the Kentucky Council for the Social Studies, said the standards serve as a guide for the curriculum.  

“As educators … there’s a great responsibility of preparing Kentucky’s young people for their lives in college, careers and as citizens,” Muetterties said. “These standards were written, revised and overwhelmingly supported by Kentucky’s teachers to achieve this lofty goal. … Academic standards serve as a framework guiding teacher’s curriculum and instructional decision making, curriculum is built using standards. The two serve different purposes. Standards are the goals for learning, but curriculum is what teachers teach.”

KDE recently unveiled a new website designed to be a one-stop shop for information on the Kentucky Academic Standards.

The site, kystandards.org, contains links to the Kentucky Academic Standards documents, resources to support the implementation of the standards and information regarding the standards revision process. Information available on the standards is also available on KDE’s website.

Another way to receive more information on how standards revisions will affect your school, your classroom or the preparation of future educators, is to attend the Get to Know Your Standards Learning Labs scheduled on four dates in June.

The labs will provide participants with a stronger understanding of the instructional implications of building standards-based instruction and assignments that align with revised standards. The day will include 60-minute break-out sessions geared towards teachers, administrators, and post-secondary faculty. Register using the appropriate links below for the date and location you wish to attend.

Contact the Standards team with any questions regarding the newly adopted standards or the standards revision process.

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