Thursday, March 30, 2017

Lawmakers pass comprehensive education reform bill

This from Ronnie Ellis in the Richmond Register:
Kentucky lawmakers gave final passage to another round of major education reform Wednesday which is aimed at changing how schools are held accountable for student achievement and how teachers are evaluated.

Senate Bill 1, sponsored by Sen. Mike Wilson, R-Bowling Green, will eventually replace Common Core academic standards with standards developed by Kentucky educators and approved by the state board of education.

New standards will be developed by local and state educators with help from postsecondary educators and guidance from political appointees of the governor and legislative leaders. Common Core will continue in use until the new standards in each discipline are adopted.

This bill will increase the post-secondary readiness of Kentucky graduates, and it significantly impacts every classroom and future generations of Kentuckians, according to Wilson.

It also gives more control to local school boards in devising plans to turn around poor performing schools and training teachers. Another aim is to align curriculum in public schools with postsecondary education and revises and simplifies accountability assessment.

Wilson often refers to the bill as the “let teachers teach bill” and contends it will significantly reduce paperwork, reporting and testing preparation for teachers so they can concentrate on instruction.

Wilson has tried to pass earlier versions of the measure in previous legislative sessions only to see it pass the Republican-controlled Senate but die in the Democratic-controlled House. But two things changed: Republicans captured the House in the November elections and Wilson reached out to education groups for their input on changes to the bill this year.

Ultimately, the latest version of the bill gained the support of the Kentucky Education Association, the Kentucky School Boards Association and others.

The bill requires regular review of the academic standards and assesses school success on data such as graduation rates.

1 comment:

Bringyoursaddlehome said...

What worries me is that we may have cultivated at least one generation of teacher who I am not sure are going to know what to when we "let teachers teach". For decades we have had top down reforms forced through the system which rarely included much teacher input but demanded compliance. At the same time we have hundreds of vendors out there battling to get school dollars with ideal promises that are rarely proven with legitimate data or research. I fear that some teachers will actually struggle with any the supposed freedom and perhaps even backslide into just doing what they did in the past or else using youtube as their guide for leading their classes.