Kentucky Academic Standards: A Flashcard Introduction

The Kentucky Academic Standards play a central role to Kentucky public education, specifying what we want students to know and be able to do at the end of each grade. Today, we’re sharing a new flashcard overview of those standards, complete with:

Examples
A definition, backed by explanations of how standards compare to curriculum and assessment
Notes on the main elements in Kentucky’s reading, writing, and mathematics standards
An explanation of how Kentucky Academic Standards are set and revised
We hope you find it helpful, and here’s a quick sample to encourage you to check out the complete flashcard deck.

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Press Release: Prichard Committee Releases Candidate Questionnaire on Education Issues

Prichard Committee Releases Candidate Questionnaire on Education Issues

For the first time, the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence is sponsoring a candidate questionnaire for the 2018 election on education issues affecting the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Earlier this fall, the questionnaire was sent to all general election candidates for the Kentucky General Assembly. The candidates’ responses to the questionnaire can be viewed on the Committee’s website (http://prichardcommittee.org/2018-candidate-list/) and will be updated through the end of October with any additional candidate submissions.

The purpose of the questionnaire is to help raise public awareness of candidates’ positions on key education issues affecting Kentuckians and the students that our education system serves, including:

● 655,000 K-12 students served by 173 public school districts
● 200,000 postsecondary students served by eight 4-year public universities and sixteen 2-year public community and technical colleges
● 50,000 children served by public preschool, Head Start and child care assistance

The survey asks candidates how they would prioritize education issues, whether they think Kentucky high school graduates are prepared for postsecondary education and the workforce, and their opinions on other issues.

“In today’s political climate, we thought it timely to provide an objective view of candidates’ positions on critical education issues,” said Brigitte Blom Ramsey, executive director of the Prichard Committee. “This is especially important as voters select their representatives for the Kentucky General Assembly – whose responsibility it is to provide for the state’s system of education.”

For any questions regarding the survey, please contact Brison Harvey.

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The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence is an independent, statewide advocacy organization dedicated to the improvement of education for all Kentuckians.

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PRICHARD ISSUES URGENT CALL FOR INVOLVEMENT TO BOOST SCHOOL RESULTS

Declining results in most subject areas and widening achievement gaps in many Kentucky schools evident in the recent release of state test results prompted the Prichard Committee to call for renewed public attention and action around progress in public education.

“Today’s results are everyone’s business,” said Brigitte Blom Ramsey, Prichard’s executive director. “For the Commonwealth’s system of public education to continue to improve and build on the progress in the last generation, citizens must be aware of the results for their schools and districts and begin to have courageous conversations about how to serve more students well. This is a moment of opportunity, a time to begin co-designing solutions with educators, students, parents, community and business leaders – side-by-side at the local level.”

The Prichard Committee spotlighted three major trends from the test scores, the results of exams that students across the state took last spring:

* The youngest elementary students made only slight gains over last year in elementary reading and declining results in elementary mathematics.  This pattern applies across nearly all student groups, with signs of better progress only for English learners. 

* Results show an alarming drop in the number of students meeting Kentucky’s college readiness benchmarks on the ACT, including 5 percent declines in English and mathematics and a 7.5 percent decline in reading.  The significance of those results is important because after changes to the state’s testing and accountability system, ACT is the only academic readiness measure that can be fully compared to last year’s results. 

* Even in schools performing relatively well overall, some groups of students are performing no better than the lowest 5 percent of schools in the state. For schools at all levels, 2018 is the first year of identifying schools for targeted support and improvement (TSI). This identifies schools based on having one or more student groups with performance like the lowest 5 percent of schools. This data show 418 schools have group results at that disturbingly low level, including 320 schools with very low results for students with identified disabilities.

Read the full Sept. 26 press release about test results at http://prichardcommittee.org/press-release-latest-school-accountability-results-call-on-kentuckians-to-come-together-around-a-shared-vision-for-progress-in-public-education/.

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Not Your Standard Feedback: Students Weigh in on National Board Standards for Teachers

The National Board Standards are created by and for teachers as models of what accomplished teachers should be doing in their classrooms. When a teacher wants to become Nationally Board Certified, they must demonstrate how they are meeting these standards and how they are improving their classroom and teaching because of them. The same standards can be used to facilitate the professional learning of educators whether or not they are eligible for certification, choose to certify, or are already certified.

The Student Agency Standards Study was the last of the standard studies created. Student agency is embedded throughout all of the National Board Standards as the true measure of accomplished teaching; it’s why we teach. After developing the other standard studies, it felt necessary to spotlight student agency as a study to make sure that it received the attention it deserves.

As National Board Certified Teachers, our team sought out the Prichard Committee Student Voice Team, a group supporting students as education research, policy, and advocacy partners, as experts in student agency to help determine what should be included and how to support facilitation. Our collaboration resulted in far more. The Student Voice Team provided sophisticated insights that impacted the facilitation of all of the standard studies, strategy for future standard revisions, and partnerships in advocating for student agency. Through our collaboration, we hope that more educators collaborate with students as educational partners and empower them to be agents of change in the world around them.

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New Offering: A Quick Look At Each School’s 2018 Results

Kentucky’s new data files on student results can be a bit daunting, not least because assessment performance is shown in a Excel file with 187,846 rows of data. An innovative school dashboard, with much more accessible displays, is under construction but not available yet.

While we wait, we’d like to offer students, parents, and other citizens another way to begin their exploration. Our Quick Look reports offer a single page for each school.

On that one page, you’ll find results for all student and for 12 students groups, including percent proficient/distinguished in each tested subject, and also including the four-year graduation rate for high schools.

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Kentucky Board of Education Moves Forward with Proposed New Minimum High School Graduation Requirements

Today’s approval of the proposed new minimum high school graduation requirements by the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) includes the framework developed with business leader and educator engagement as well as the inclusion of high stakes requirements for students first introduced during the first reading of the KBE on Aug. 2.
The board chose not to delay action as requested by community and civil rights organizations, as well as educator groups, which would have provided more time to allow research and evidence to inform the proposal.
While this is disappointing, we encourage citizens and stakeholders to use the public comment period to pose their questions and make their concerns known. We’ve provided a timeline for the process below and will continue to provide research and analysis on the proposal to help ensure Kentucky employs the very best strategies to increase student success.
“The basic framework of Kentucky’s proposal, developed over the last eight months, has the potential to be transformational for Kentucky’s students if we provide the time, resources, and guidance our educators need to deeply develop rich, rigorous, and relevant personalized pathways for our students,” said Brigitte Blom Ramsey. “As the process moves forward, the KBE and stakeholders should consider the perceived value-add of high stakes exit exams and if the tradeoffs in opportunity cost and systemic supports are where we want to place the state’s capacity”
We are grateful to our partners who are also committed to the rigorous review of the research and more intentional public engagement on behalf of our students, including: the Louisville Urban League, Kentucky State Conference of NAACP Branches, the Urban League of Lexington – Fayette County, Teach for America -Appalachia and Partners for Education at Berea College.

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