KDE academic standards review and revision process for English/language arts and math moves forward

05/15/2017 05:55 PM

FRANKFORT – Kentucky Department of Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt announced on Monday that the Kentucky Department of Education’s review and revision process for academic standards in teaching English/language arts, mathematics, physical education and health and computer science has begun.

Senate Bill 1, which was passed earlier this year by the General Assembly, called 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.

The current schedule calls for one or two content areas to be reviewed each year and every six years thereafter on a rotating basis.

Highlights of current proposed standards in English/language arts and math include requiring the teaching of cursive to all students; as well as consistent teaching of math courses across the state.

Pruitt said that the days of standards being set for only the subjects that are going to be on the state assessment are over.

“Historically, standards have only been written for things that are going to be tested on the state assessment,” Pruitt said. “I personally believe that you should have standards in every area because you want to make sure there’s equitable access for kids.”

The idea of every student having equitable access to a top notch education is Pruitt’s number one goal with the whole assessment process.

“How you implement them how you teach them, should be done at the local level but every kids should have an equal opportunity to learn,” Pruitt said. “I think what we’ve found is that doesn’t always happen so standards is just the first step.”

Pruitt acknowledges that the ultimate goal of the standards is to provide all Kentucky students with access to a first class education comparable to any state in the nation.

“We’re working with our co-ops right now to start looking at how we can evaluate quality instruction materials, not because we want to rule it here, but we want teachers to be good consumers,” Pruitt said. “We want to look at implementation of standards not simply by the number of people that we train, but actually by evidence whether there’s change in practice.”

After the Department of Education finishes collecting input on all of the proposed standards in English/language arts and mathematics on September 15, grade-level advisory panels, made up of educators teaching the subject standards being reviewed along with a representative form an institution of higher education, will review the standards and assessments and make recommendations to a Standards and Assessment Review Development Committee. That committee, made up of 6 public school educators, will review the findings and make recommendations.

Under Senate Bill 1, their proposal goes to the Commissioner of Education, who reviews and then sends it to the Standards/Assessment Review Process Committee, which is made up of three members appointed by the Governor, three appointed by the President of the Senate, and three appointed by the Speaker of The House, in addition to the commissioner, who will review the process to ensure that shareholders have had adequate opportunity for input. If the process is found sufficient, the recommendations go to the Kentucky Board of Education for consideration.

Once the Kentucky Board of Education approves the revised standards and they clear the traditional regulatory review process, the standards will be implemented in all Kentucky Public Schools no later than the second academic year following the process. Existing standards will stay in place until the new standards are approved.

Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at donald.weber@charter.com.

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