Fewer standardized tests for your kids and less importance placed on them: These are two of the big changes the Kentucky education commissioner hopes to bring schools across the commonwealth in the next year.
Stephen Pruitt sat down with WLKY’s Ben Jackey to talk about the major changes ahead for students, teachers and parents.
Ed Commissioner Stephen Pruitt
Pruitt traveled to 11 cities to hear what communities had to say about Kentucky's accountability model, the measure of whether a school is successful or failing.
Pruitt wants to revamp the model to reduce the weight of testing on a school's label.
Some question if that would water-down the system.
“People are frustrated with tests just dominating the whole conversation,” Pruitt said.
Pruitt inherited a state-accountability model almost entirely composed of standardized test results.
By the 2017-18 school year, that will change. Pruitt awaits input from across the commonwealth, but plans a major shift to include things like advanced classes opportunities, art options and school environment -- all to help determine whether a school is succeeding or failing.
“It can't be just about the test. If it is, I think we're losing out on the focus of ensuring that we have good citizens when they graduate and not just good test-takers,” Pruitt said.
Pruitt also wants to move away from percentile ranking system. Which means a district like Jefferson County Public Schools may not be classified as performing in the lowest quarter of the state in comparison to other districts as it is now.
When asked if this would weaken the accountability model, Pruitt said he felt it would make it stronger by measuring a variety of factors that affect good and bad test results.
Pruitt plans to talk with districts about the number of standardized tests they implement in order to get a better predictor of how students are faring before the state K-prep test.
Pruitt said it is on him and his team to help teachers with the state teaching standards so they know where their student is, without more tests.
“And then you get into the whole issue of test prep. We need to figure out that the best test prep in the world is just good teaching,” Pruitt said.
Pruitt delayed the roll-out of the next generation standard testing when he arrived in October.
It was supposed to happen this year, but will instead go into effect in 2017-18 along with the new accountability model, which right now has no definitive timetable for completion.
Saturday, May 21, 2016
Fewer standardized tests: Education commissioner talks major changes
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