On Nov. 14, a task force of educators convened by Commissioner of Education Wayne Lewis and led by the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) completed four days of meetings aimed at improving the process of developing quality curriculum for Kentucky’s public schools that are directly aligned to the state’s academic standards.
The task force – comprised of superintendents, district curriculum leads, principals, teachers, library media specialists, representatives from educational cooperatives, postsecondary faculty and other education partners – considered current curriculum strengths and needs in Kentucky and possibilities for policy and practice improvement.
Kentucky law requires curriculum to be selected at the local level by school-based decision making councils (SBDMs). KDE, however, is responsible for the development of the Model Curriculum Framework (MCF), which provides direction to local districts and schools as they develop their curriculum. The guidance of the task force will be used to revise the MCF and create additional guidance documents to provide flexibility and support to the SBDMs, district and school leaders and teachers.
KDE’s Division of Program Standards staff shared the importance of the alignment of high-quality standards, curriculum and instructional resources with the group during the process.
“Standards address a foundational framework of what is to be learned,” said Division Director Krista Hall. “Curriculum addresses how the standards are translated into learning experiences at the local level, with the instructional resources used as tools to implement the curriculum.”
Lewis applauded the work of the task force and thanked them for their dedication to advancing students’ educational outcomes.
“I am thankful to the members of this task force who so willingly gave their time and expertise to this most important work,” Lewis said. ”Collectively, we must do everything we possibly can to continue building the capacity of our teachers and leaders to deliver high-quality, standards-aligned instruction. The importance of using high-quality, standards-aligned curriculum cannot be overstated.”
“As we declare war on Novice performance on K-PREP assessments, ensuring every Kentucky student has access to high-quality, Kentucky Academic Standards-aligned curriculum is an essential element for improving student learning. While some of our students have access to high-quality curriculum, others do not. More often, it’s our most vulnerable learners who lack that access. That’s something we can certainly change.”
Lewis added that he hopes to see the percentage of novice scores reduced as high-quality, standards-aligned curriculum is introduced into classrooms across the Commonwealth.