Tuesday, February 15, 2011

SB 1 Update: Where we stand on new standards

2009's Senate Bill 1 called for a major revision in Kentucky's approach to standards, assessment, accountability, and work to equip teachers (current and future) to move student performance to the new expected levels.  Starting today, I'll blog my way where we stand on those deliverables, starting with  new standards for what Kentucky students should know and be able to do.

The legislation called for a full revision of Kentucky's content standards in all subjects, to produce standards:
  • fewer, deeper, and clearer
  • linked to international benchmarks and economic competition
  • aligned with what students will need to succeed in higher education
It also said that the new standards should:
  • be developed though collaboration between P-12 educators, higher education faculty, and other stakeholders
  • be available by December 2009 for reading and mathematics
  • be available by December 2010 for other subjects

For reading, writing, and mathematics, Kentucky has adopted the Common Core State Standards, the result of a major collaboration of many states.  The specified stakeholder groups provided multiple rounds of feedback on the drafts, and the final edition of the standards became available in June 2010. (Yes, that's later than the law specified, but in return we will get tremendous benefits from being able to collaborate on tests, textbooks, technology, professional development, and other elements of putting the standards to work.)

For science, a similar multi-state effort is underway, with the current timetable calling for a final edition in late 2011.

For social studies, states and relevant organizations are discussing another round of collaborative development, but a firm plan of action is not yet in place–and that means there isn't a timetable available for when shared standards could emerge.

For arts, humanities, practical living, and career studies, Kentucky has been developing its own standards, along with plans to use them in a new process called program reviews.  I'll describe that work in a separate post on the program review approach.

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Updates and data on Kentucky education!