Monday, May 18, 2009

SB 1 and CPE discussions [Updated]

Some of Senate Bill 1's greatest potential comes from the commitment to align college expectations and P-12 standards, with the Council on Postsecondary Education as a full partner in making that happen. So far, that work is not getting a very high profile at CPE meetings.

SB 1 didn't get distinct attention in the agenda or minutes of CPE's May 4-5 retreat and isn't scheduled for substantial discussion on the agenda of CPE's May 22 meeting. For May 22, President King's "Report to the Council" does include one paragraph:
Senate Bill 1 is a significant piece of education legislation that revises the assessment and accountability system for K-12 education in Kentucky. The bill calls on the Department of Education, in collaboration with the Council on Postsecondary Education, to plan and implement a process for revising academic content standards to increase the rigor and focus the content of K-12 education. Working collaboratively, staff members from the two agencies developed a comprehensive process to revise standards in key content areas. A planning process also was developed to reduce college remediation rates and increase graduation rates of postsecondary students with developmental education needs. The next step in SB 1 implementation is to review the current systemwide public postsecondary placement policy in English and mathematics and, working with institutional representatives and KDE, to determine whether revisions are needed in those content standards. A copy of the comprehensive revision process is included in the appendix to this meeting agenda book.
That may be enough to invite greater discussion.

Missing, though, is one of SB 1's major requirements:
Within thirty days from the effective date of this Act, each postsecondary education institution shall plan and implement a process to develop core academic content standards for reading and mathematics for introductory courses in the public postsecondary education institutions.
That thirty day requirement hit on April 24, and the bill follows up by saying that "All core academic standards for mathematics and reading in introductory courses shall be completed by December 15, 2009 ." In the CPE documents, I can't get any sense of how that work will proceed, and I admit to great curiosity about it.

Update: a commenter has alerted me that SB 1 (as I downloaded it shortly after passage contained a typo.) In the revised version now available from the LRC, the deadlines read this way: "All core academic standards for mathematics and reading in introductory courses shall be completed by December 15, 2010 with a target completion date of December 15, 2009 for the mathematics standards." That gives postsecondary more time for this important work, and is very helpful to know!

Notes: The May 4-5 agenda is here. The May 22 agenda is here, and includes downloadable versions of the May 4-5 minutes and the President's Report. Senate Bill 1 is available here: click on the highlighted phrase "SB 1" to download the whole bill.


  1. Susan,

    Re: Your statement that SB-1 says, "All core academic standards for mathematics and reading in introductory courses shall be completed by December 15, 2009."

    Your comments are based on a typo in the bill which has now been fixed. Download the latest version from the LRC Web site and check around page 69 to 70.

    Also, it looks like the Appendix to the CPE's pending meeting outlines some of the issues you are concerned about. Did you read that?

  2. Thank you for alerting me on both issues!

    I've updated the main post about the dates.

    The appendix includes the schedule for the P-12 standards work, matching what was promised in the main report. I'm glad to see that it also contains a list of the statutory requirements--and maybe that will add to the interest in a serious discussion.

    And yet, I remain concerned that the agenda itself doesn't treat SB 1 as a major topic that needs Council engagement as well as Council staff contributions.


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