Kentucky educators use formative assessment for teaching math: More than 150 ninth- and 10th-grade math teachers throughout Kentucky are testing new classroom strategies for helping students master math concepts. The formative assessment is focused on training educators to better understand their students' individual learning needs. "Instead of giving them the answer, the teachers are there to guide them in the process to get the right answer," one principal said. "It teaches the kids how to struggle and succeed in math." (Courier-Journal)
KSBA board: Same campaign limits should apply to all seeking office, including school board hopefuls: The Kentucky School Boards Association is supporting the idea of one set of political campaign contribution limits for all candidates in the state, and doing away with the singular restriction imposed in school board races. The KSBA Board of Directors Saturday endorsed the concept of allowing candidates for election to local boards of education to receive the same campaign contributions — $1,000 by an individual and $2,000 by a corporation – as legislators and city and county elected officials. Under a statute passed as part of the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA) of 1990, school board candidates are limited to accepting no more than $100 from an individual and $200 from a corporation. (KSBA)
Ky. facing more budget woes if federal aid defeated: Gov. Steve Beshear says the state could come up nearly $240 million short early next year if a federal spending bill defeated by a Senate Republican filibuster doesn’t pass. (Bluegrass Politics)
Behind Closed Doors: Public education shouldn't be decided by private meetings, but that's exactly what happened in filling the open seat on the Jefferson County Board of Education.
The District 1 position, which covers central and western Louisville, became available when longtime incumbent Ann Elmore resigned. This week, four candidates who want the job were interviewed by a screening committee assembled by Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday -- and those interviews were conducted behind closed doors. (Courier-Journal)
Chicago's Renaissance schools see more than 90% go on to college: More than 90% of the first group of graduates from Chicago's Renaissance charter schools have been accepted to two- or four-year colleges, a rate that stands in contrast to a 52% college-acceptance rate from Chicago's public schools as last measured in 2008. Supporters of the charters, which primarily serve minority students living in poverty, say they are a model for improving disadvantaged schools, but others caution that more needs to be done to ensure students receive support and guidance to succeed in college. (The New York Times)
NYC pilot to offer bonus pay for teachers who help students succeed: New York City teachers who improve student achievement at struggling schools may be eligible for bonuses of up to 30% of their pay, under a pilot program at about 12 schools. The plan creates two classifications of teachers. Turnaround teachers could earn 15% extra pay, and master teachers would be eligible for 30% -- all based on progress their students make on exams and other measures. City education officials and the United Federation of Teachers approved the bonus program, which would be paid for with federal school-improvement grants the city is expecting. (The Wall Street Journal)
Schools aim to individualize instruction with software: Twenty-one New York state elementary schools will begin transitions to a digital curriculum for reading and math this fall. The schools are implementing the interactive Time to Know curriculum, which one principal says can help teachers individualize instruction for struggling and high-achieving students. (T.H.E. Journal)
Kentucky Applying for Race to Top Test Grants: Three state consortia will vie for $350 million in federal financing to design assessments aligned to the recently unveiled common-core standards, according to applications submitted Wednesday to the U.S. Department of Education.
Part of the Race to the Top program, the competition aims to spur states to band together to create measures of academic achievement that are comparable across states. Two consortia—the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium , which consists of 31 states, and the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers , or PARCC, which consists of 26 states—will compete for the bulk of the funding, $320 million, to produce comprehensive assessment systems. (Ed Week)
New state sports group leader to champion major changes: Twenty-three days on the job, the new commissioner of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association is wasting no time in making it known that change is in the air. ...Tackett said one “dramatic” change he already is pushing for is in the area of determining student athlete eligibility. “Our office has been rightfully accused of looking for ways to say ‘No’ to kids. Some people like to say, ‘Here are the rules and that’s that way it is,’” he said. “We’re just not going to be that way. When in doubt, we’re going to try to allow kids to play. “I’m going to propose some rules to relax some restrictions. We have a rule that says when you can’t play, you can’t practice. That sounds really good, like a good deterrent (to reduce transferring between schools). But you’ve got to remember that when you lose a year, you’ve lost it permanently,” Tackett said. (KSBA)
AG's opinion upholds Boone County tax computation: The Kentucky Attorney General's office has issued an opinion that upholds the current method of calculating the compensating tax rate in Boone County and statewide. The opinion supports the current method of calculating the rate, but does not satisfy at least one of the parties who requested it. (Enquirer)
Quality assessments involve students in learning, give teachers the tools to improve, too: Kentucky teachers must be given the time to develop better assessments of their classroom instruction while engaging students to “own” their work. When that happens, the results will show up in their schools’ test scores. In several sessions Tuesday in Bowling Green, members of the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents received an in-depth orientation on the state’s push for improved classroom assessments as a critical aspect to create a new statewide school and student accountability system. (KSBA)