Friday, May 28, 2010

Sans Charters, Kentucky's RTTT2 Application Heads to DC

The Kentucky Department of Education is submitting the state’s new application for federal Race to the Top dollars today. The state should pick up a few points with a new provision in the application which would tie teacher evaluations – in part – to student achievement. But will that be enough?

Race to the Top envisions a new longitudinal value-added assessment system. So does Senate Bill 1. In order to build a new test, Kentucky needs the $175 million that Race to the Top could provide.

In order to win the full amount, Kentucky needs charter school legislation which, it appears, is not happening.

So where might that leave Kentucky?

KDE Spokesperson Lisa Gross told WRFL that,
“In order to gauge student achievement, we have to have things in place like tests and accountability programs and so forth,” says Gross, “and Race to the Top also puts the responsibility for raising student achievement on the grown-ups, on teachers, on administrators.”
With a new test, built on the core assessment standards, AND with appropriate amounts of professional development - measuring most teachers' contribution to student achievement might be done in a fairer manner.

But what if Kentucky earns few or no RTTT dollars and can't afford to build that test?

Tying teacher evaluations to student achievement under the current test is, what? ...unfair? ...foolish? ...dishonest? ...criminal?

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