The Task Force on Assessment and Accountability will review the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System (CATS) and provide a blueprint for the system’s progress in the future to ensure that the system meets the best interests of public school students.
Education Commissioner Jon E. Draud asked statewide organizations, partner groups and leaders of the Kentucky Senate and House of Representatives to name members to the task force. The members are:
- Jim Applegate, vice president for Academic Affairs, Council on Postsecondary Education
- Joe Brothers, chair, Kentucky Board of Education
- Dale Brown, superintendent, Warren County (representing the Partnership for Successful Schools)
- Paula Eaglin, Kentucky Association of Professional Educators
- Jenny Lynn Hatter, instructional supervisor, Harrison County (representing the Kentucky Association of School Administrators)
- Rep. Jimmy Higdon, 24th District, Lebanon
- Brenda Jackson, past president, Kentucky School Boards Association
- Sen. Dan Kelly, 14th District, Springfield
- Mike Lafavers, principal, Boyle County Middle (representing the Kentucky Association of School Councils
- Roger Marcum, superintendent, Marion County (representing the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents)
- Sen. Vernie McGaha, 15th District, Russellville
- Rep. Harry Moberly, 81st District, Richmond
- Helen Mountjoy, secretary, Education Cabinet
- Sharron Oxendine, president, Kentucky Education Association
- Rep. Frank Rasche, 3rd District, Paducah
- Speaker of the House Jody Richards, 20th District, Bowling Green
- Wayne Roberts, district assessment coordinator, Wayne County (representing the Kentucky Association of Assessment Coordinators)
- Rep. Carl Rollins, 56th District, Midway
- Sandy Rutledge, president-elect, Kentucky PTA
- Bob Sexton, executive director, Prichard Committee
- Diana Taylor, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
- Sen. Johnny Ray Turner, 29th District, Drift
“A major objective is to achieve consensus by Democratic and Republican policymakers on the makeup of the assessment and accountability system,” Draud said. “All policymakers want what’s best for students, and this task force will provide the means to achieve that.
The task force will seek input from teachers, administrators, parents, businesspeople, elected officials, education advocacy groups and others. The group will analyze individual components of CATS and determine the effectiveness of those in meeting the needs of students.
The group will have its first meeting in July. A date and time for the meeting has not yet been set.
The Commonwealth Accountability Testing System (CATS) was implemented in 1999, as the means to carry out the requirements of Kentucky Revised Statute 158.6453, which charges the Kentucky Board of Education with the responsibility to create and implement an assessment and accountability system for the state’s public schools.
CATS includes the Kentucky Core Content Tests in seven subject areas; nonacademic data, including dropout, graduation and attendance rates; writing portfolios; alternate assessments for students with severe disabilities; and ACT, PLAN and EXPLORE. The Core Content Tests include multiple-choice and short-answer questions for each subject area.
CATS provides unique goals for each of the state’s public schools and districts to meet, and schools and districts are held accountable for meeting those goals.
Data from CATS is used to inform parents, teachers, administrators and the general public about schools’ progress. Results from subject-area testing in CATS are approved by the U.S. Department of Education for use to comply with the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.
SOURCE: KDE press release