Friday, February 4, 2011

Gates strategies to grow in Kentucky

Having shared earlier about the Gates Foundation strategies for implementing Common Core State Standards, I'm delighted by today's announcement of a new grant for statewide work around those approaches.  Here's part of the press release issued today:
(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – 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.
This will provide wonderful next steps on the efforts already underway to use:

  • The mathematics approaches in Boone, Daviess, Jefferson, Jessamine, Kenton, and Warren schools.
  • The full task-and-module version of the literacy strategy in Kenton County schools
  • The literacy tasks and elements of the literacy module design in Boyle, Daviess, Fayette, Jessamine and Rockcastle schools.


  1. Were the districts selected already performing well in those areas?

    I notice that no districts in eastern Kentucky were chosen.

  2. Hi, Tyler!

    The districts doing the math work were selected based on participating in an earlier Wallace Grant, except for Jessamine which got Foundation notice for its superintendent's leadership on assessment issues.

    The literacy districts were chosen for partial overlap with math and leadership in state organizations (Kenton, Daviess, Jessamine), to include an urban participant (Fayette), to connect with P-20 innovation lab work (Boyle), and for truly rural setting (Rockcastle).

  3. Thanks for explaining! It seems they are excellent choices, and I hope they produce excellent results to replicate across the state!


Updates and data on Kentucky education!