Friday, February 04, 2011

KDE Receives $1 Mil Literacy and Math Grant

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) has received a two-year, $1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support implementation of the new Common Core Academic Standards (CCAS).

The goal of the grant is to improve classroom instruction and align content taught to the Common Core standards by developing instructional strategies and tools in mathematics and literacy. The project will build off the work already underway in Kentucky via the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) and the Mathematics Design Collaborative (MDC) and shared so that teachers throughout the state can use them to improve student learning.

“This work is directly connected to Kentucky’s successful implementation of the Common Core Academic Standards, the development of a model curriculum framework and the mandates of 2009’s Senate Bill 1,” said Felicia Cumings Smith, associate commissioner of KDE’s Office of Next Generation Learners. “These strategies will provide immense benefits for teachers and promote students’ critical thinking skills within and across the content areas.”

KDE will partner with the state’s school districts through its Leadership Network system during this project. The networks — comprised more than 2,500 Kentucky educators across 29 networks — are designed to build the capacity of each Kentucky school district as they implement Kentucky’s Common Core Academic Standards, develop assessment literacy among all educators and work toward ensuring that every classroom is a model of highly effective teaching and learning practices.

Network partners, such as the regional education cooperatives, institutions of higher education, the Council on Postsecondary Education and the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, also will be included in the expanded implementation of LDC and MDC. As part of an earlier, separate grant from the Gates Foundation, the Prichard Committee has been working with a group of pilot school districts on LDC and MDC implementation, and the work of those districts will be shared through the Leadership Networks.

The pilot school districts for LDC are Kenton County (lead), Boyle County, Daviess County, Fayette County, Jessamine County and Rockcastle County. The pilot school districts for MDC are Kenton County (lead), Boone County, Daviess County, Jefferson County (Doss and Iroquois High Schools), Jessamine County and Warren County.

The grant is part of a larger nationwide effort by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support the development and testing of prototype mathematics and literacy classroom assessments and instructional tools to help educators better prepare all students for life beyond high school.

SOURCE: KDE Press Release

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