Thursday, February 11, 2010

Historic Cooperation

Kentucky First to Accept Core Academic Standards

SOURCE KDE: In joint meeting this evening, the chairs of the Kentucky Board of Education, the Council on Postsecondary Education and the Education Professional Standards Board signed a resolution directing their respective agencies to implement the Common Core State Standards in English/language arts and mathematics, formalizing Kentucky’s agreement to integrate the standards into the state’s public education system.

(Smiles all 'round after signing the resolution.
L to R pairs:
Philip Rogers and Lorraine Williams from EPSB;
Terry Holliday and Joe Brothers from KBE;
Bob King and Paul Patton from CPE.)

Archived video and audio from KDE:

Downloadable audio podcast:

The draft Common Core State Standards at the Council on Postsecondary Education website:

More on Common Core Standards at Nat'l Gov's Association:

"Now it is critically important that we provide
our schools and teachers with the support and resources
they need to make sure these standards do
what they are designed to do -
ensure the success of students in every part of Kentucky,"

--- Bob Sexton

(Bob Sexton looks on with Roger Marcum in background.)

With this action, Kentucky becomes the first state to formally accept the standards. Higher, clearer and more in-depth academic standards are required by Senate Bill 1, passed by the 2009 Kentucky General Assembly and codified as KRS 158.6451.

(Patton with Brothers and Williams.)

“This is an historic moment for Kentucky,” said Kentucky Board of Education Chair Joe Brothers. “With the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, teachers and administrators will have a blueprint to move the state forward in P-12 education. This is just the beginning of Kentucky’s next chapter of education reform, and it reflects the mandates of the state’s legislature – specifically, Senate Bill 1 -- and our application for federal Race to the Top funding.”

(KBE member Billy Harper looks on)

“The Common Core Standards come at an opportune time for us at EPSB as we forge ahead to meet the charges set forth by Senate Bill 1,” said EPSB Chair Lorraine Williams. “To truly make a difference in Kentucky’s students’ ability to demonstrate what they know and are able to do and to make them more competitive in the marketplace, it is a refreshing move to narrow the number of standards taught at each level. ESPB is excited to be part of this cutting edge initiative and looks forward to working with our university partners to ensure that our undergraduate and graduate teacher preparation programs embrace the Common Core Standards and prepare a stronger workforce capable of teaching the curriculum to a deeper, more rigorous level.”

(King and Patton listen to Holliday)

“Kentucky is once again at the forefront in education reform,” said CPE Chair Paul Patton. “I am very pleased with the level of cooperation and commitment by Kentucky’s policy and education leaders in the development of these draft content standards. Consistent academic standards, aligned to college and work expectations, will help our students reach higher levels of success.”

(Governor Steve Beshear)

Launched in 2009, the Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Governors and state commissioners of education from 48 states (no Texas; no Alaska), two territories and the District of Columbia committed to developing a common core of state standards in English/language arts and mathematics for grades K-12.

(Former Lexington Mayor Pam Miller)

CCSSO and NGA plan to release the final version of the standards in early spring.

The action by the three Kentucky boards is the beginning of the work of integrating those standards into the state’s curriculum guidelines, teacher preparation programs and higher education activities.

(Ed Cmte chairs, Sen Ken Winter and Rep Carl Rollins)

This action meets the mandate of Senate Bill 1, passed by the 2009 General Assembly, to revise Kentucky’s academic standards to:

  • focus on critical knowledge, skills and capacities needed for success in the global economy
  • result in fewer, but more in-depth standards to facilitate mastery learning
  • communicate expectations more clearly and concisely to teachers, parents, students and citizens
  • be based on evidence-based research
  • consider international benchmarks
  • ensure that the standards are aligned from elementary to high school to postsecondary education so that students can be successful at each education level.

(The Three Amigos)

These standards are the "best of the best” of state academic requirements. They focus on knowledge like multiplication, equations, reading comprehension, language rules and more. But, they also require that students learn how to solve problems and think creatively. To help teachers successfully implement the standards, state agencies and partner groups will provide support and training starting in the summer of 2010.

(Frequent Commish Kevin Noland and Ed Sec Joe Meyer)

Teachers will begin to provide instruction related to the standards in the fall of 2011. Students will be assessed on the Common Core Standards beginning in the spring of 2012.

(KBE Vice Chair Dorie Combs..all pensive)

The Common Core State Standards will enable participating states to:

  • articulate to parents, teachers, and the general public expectations for students
  • align textbooks, digital media and curricula to the internationally benchmarked standards
  • ensure professional development for educators is based on identified need and best practices
  • develop and implement an assessment system to measure student performance against the common core state standards
  • evaluate policy changes needed to help students and educators meet the common core state college and career readiness standards

(KBE Deputy Commish Ruth Webb with Sexton)

This from the Prichard Committee:

Kentucky's adoption of new academic standards is an exciting development that could signal the beginning of unprecedented progress for the state's schools, the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence said Thursday.

"These standards strengthen our education system in several ways," said Robert
F. Sexton, executive director of the statewide citizens' organization.

"First, they have real-world relevance - reflecting the knowledge and skills that young people need to succeed in both college and work and to compete in the global economy. Second, they give students, teachers, parents and administrators a shared understanding of what students are expected to learn, but they let teachers decide how to help students reach the standards. Finally, they ensure collaboration between K-12 and postsecondary education - something we haven't seen before in Kentucky."

(ESPB staffer and "old" FCPS colleague Mike Carr)

This from Jim Warren at the Herald-Leader:

...Kentucky educators expect state test scores to fall initially when the new standards kick in with the 2011-2012 school year. But they say scores will rebound as students and teachers adjust to the tougher new requirements.

The state estimates that implementing the standards, preparing teachers to use them, and developing a new student testing system could cost about $15 million over the next two fiscal years. But officials say the payoff — generations of Kentucky youngsters fully prepared to succeed in college or careers in an increasingly competitive global marketplace — would be well worth that investment.

(Another former colleague from Meadowthorpe, KDE's Michael Miller)

The Kentucky Board of Education, the state Council on Postsecondary Education and the state Education Professional Standards Board each voted unanimously to adopt the new standards Wednesday night in a joint session at the Kentucky Community and Technical College System headquarters. The audience included a virtual who's who of Kentucky education.

(Our host, KCTCS Pres Michael McCall)

Gov. Steve Beshear and others on hand touted the standards adoption as a "historic step" to toward a "new era of education," calling it perhaps the most important education reform initiative since the 1990 Kentucky Education Reform Act.

"These standards will move us closer to our ultimate goal, a K-12 system that positions our children for success," Beshear said. "They will require not only knowledge but skills, like thinking creatively, solving problems, thinking analytically. In short, they will help our teachers teach, and our students study more effectively and more competently."

(Dailey with CPE staffers Lee Nimocks and John DeAtley)

Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday called the new standards an attempt to "harness the winds of change."

"We must create the future for our children," Holliday said. "I think this is the first wave of the next wave of change for the future of our children, and it is securing that future."

Wednesday night's action is a major step in the implementation of Senate Bill 1, which the General Assembly approved last year calling for new, more demanding state education standards aligned from preschool to college. Now that math and language standards have been adopted, the next step will be preparing new standards for other subjects. The Kentucky Department of Education plans to do that in-house.

(Winters with new UK Ed Dean Mary John O'Hair)
Charlie Newquist, a math teacher at East Jessamine Middle School who participated on a panel that reviewed the new math and language standards last year, predicted that they will do much to boost education in the state.

"The standards are rigorous, but reachable," said Newquist, who spoke at Wednesday's session.
"I think students and parents will be excited because the standards are very clear. We know what the kids need to do. We know what they need to understand. And we know how to get there at every grade level."
We missed Susan Weston last night, but she weighed in telling H-L's Warren, "We now say that a child is reading at grade level, and that sounds reassuring. But in fact, that isn't strong enough for us to keep pulling in the good jobs, and competing with the rising nations of Asia and Europe. We need to be stronger than our current average...Standard research on the countries that have been beating us in math says that they all do it the way these new standards are set up.
Weston referred to the new math standards, which are designed to match up well with the Singapore math program that nine Fayette County elementary schools have instituted this year.
Warren reports theat a key piece of the reform effort is the state's application to the federal Race To The Top program, which was filed last month. Kentucky hopes to get up to $200 million from the Race program, which would be used for implementing SB 1 and the new standards. The state should learn in April how much it will money it will get.
Holliday told the assembly that "if you want to know where Kentucky is going, read our Race to the Top application."
If you want to know where Kentucky's application is headed and the chances for funding, check out the NCTQ Race to the Top Scorecard.
(EKU Math Prof Sue Cain on loan to CPE)

This from WKYT (VIDEO):

It’s still not certain what exactly the new standards will be…as only a rough draft of them is available.

“It may mean scrapping all their may mean only a lesson or two,” said Sharron Oxendine with the Kentucky Education Association.

Yet Oxendine welcomes the new standards.

“I really think it’s a good thing…because we’ve been talking for years about the standards…have been way too broad,” said Oxendine.

“Which will allow us to go deeper into the content, rather than trying to spread it out so far,” said Franklin County Schools Superintendent Harrie Buecker.

One concern has been that teachers don’t have enough time in each year…to adequately finish the large amount of lessons they’re required to give students.

“What we’re looking at….is making sure that the lessons we can teach in the time that’s available…is going to be appropriate,” said Oxendine.

(CPE VP Aaron Thompson)

Training teachers on the new changes could cost in the millions of dollars. Kentucky education officials hope federal funding will take care of that expense.

The standards Kentucky adopts will mirror those in 48 other states.

“So I think it will better prepare all of our kids for work, for college, for whatever happens after school,” said Oxendine.

The new standards will be used to develop a new test that most Kentucky students will begin taking in the spring of 2012.

(My favorite pen pal, KDE's Lisa Gross. I'm probably "in trouble" for posting this one.)

Coverage from the News-Enterprise here:

This from Ed Week:

...Kentucky’s move is part of what is known as the Common Core State Standards Initiative, spearheaded by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National
Governors Association. The K-12 standards crafted as part of that initiative are still in draft form, with a final version expected by early spring. ("Reviewers Urge Standards Fixes," Feb. 3, 2010.)

In making their decisions, the Kentucky boards relied on late-stage drafts that have been circulating among state officials for review. But their decisions direct their staffs to implement the final version of the common standards once it is completed. The state will also wait for the final version to begin the normal 30-day regulatory-review period, officials said.The state education department plans to train teachers on the common standards this summer so they can begin teaching to them next fall. It plans to administer assessments designed for the common standards in spring 2012...

The unusual level of cooperation among the three boards is required by a bill passed last year by the Kentucky legislature. A sweeping revision of the state’s standards and accountability system, the measure mandates, among other provisions, that the education department, the Council on Postsecondary Education, and the Education Professional Standards Board collaborate on new standards that are narrower and deeper, and better aligned with college expectations...

Hat tips to Prichard and KSBA.

It was great to see so many former and current colleagues in one place at one time. The first guy I ran into last night was Roger Marcum, then Michael Miller, then Mike Carr...... There was a great feeling in the room; a concerted effort I haven't sensed in a long time.

Special shout outs to Roger, Mike, Dorie, Aaron, Michael, Bob, Cindy, the other Michael, Sally, Lee, Becky Sagan, Lisa, Kevin, Nancy McKinney, Sue, Pam, and fellow correspondent Jim and fellow blogger Terry.

All photos by Richard Day for Kentucky School News and Commentary.


Anonymous said...

When I see these pictures of committed educators, tears come to my eyes.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Let's take Kentucky into the 21st century!

Centenial College said...


I think some seniors and juniors colleague at same place. Very nice photographs here.

Advertising Programs

Richard Day said...

Susan Weston suggested I post the bunch on Facebook so that Kentucky education advocates can tag each other and provide a more complete history of the event. I think I will.

Wanna be Facebook friends?