February 28 2014

Published: 2/25/2015 12:40 PM
​​In this edition of Fast Five, you will find articles on the following:  
• College/career-readiness
• Districts of Innovation, Assessments and Accountability
• World Language Program Review
• SREB Report on Career and Technical Education
• Link to Recording of and PowerPoint for the Feb. 24 Superintendents’ Webcast
• Another district raises compulsory school attendance age
• Legislative Update, Week of February 24, 2014
• Commissioner’s Blog
• Superintendents’ Spotlight Featuring Charlotte Bernard, Clinton County

Fast Five on Friday
(Nine this Week)

College/career-readiness – Thanks to your hard work, Kentucky has made great gains in meeting college- and career-readiness (CCR) goals.  This map shows progress by district.  Each year the goal for CCR increases significantly.  This year’s statewide target is 58 percent.  Thus, it is extremely important that each school has a plan to help students to meet the benchmarks. 
As we near the midpoint of the second semester, I want to remind you to continue monitoring student progress, ensuring students receive appropriate interventions necessary to reach college ready benchmarks and providing opportunities for students to complete career pathways. 
Do you know your school’s target for 2014 and if not, are you aware of where to locate this information on the school report card? (Find it under the Delivery Targets Tab and then the CCR tab).  Have you identified students that are not on track to meet CCR benchmarks and are these students receiving interventions?  Have you identified those students close to meeting the benchmarks on the ACT, COMPASS or KYOTE who could help you meet your CCR target? 

There is still time to help students qualify as college-ready.  It often takes only minor interventions to reach the benchmarks.  On the KDE website you will find resources to assist in providing appropriate interventions http://education.ky.gov/educational/int/Pages/default.aspx


Districts of Innovation, Assessments and Accountability – This past week, the House Education Committee took up HB 424 which would allow, under specific conditions, a waiver or modification of the statewide assessment system for schools in a District of Innovation (DOI) and allow an innovation district to use student assessments other than those required by the state board. KDE supports the legislation since our Districts of Innovation requested the flexibility with areas such as testing and personnel that were not addressed in the original DOI statute.
In the past few years, I have written blogs and given numerous speeches about innovative approaches to education. KDE Division of Innovation Director David Cook visited each cooperative and briefed superintendents about DOI in hopes of recruiting more districts to participate. And a number of non-DOI districts have been involved in the national Innovation Lab Network groups for several years. Assessment/Accountability 3.0 is a major initiative of that group.
Given that we plan on issuing a Request for Proposals to replace EXPLORE and PLAN and potentially Quality Core end-of-course assessments, we felt the time was right to explore and pilot possible alternatives with a small group of districts that eventually could result in a more accurate assessment system for all Kentucky districts.
However, since the House Ed committee meeting this week, there have been a number of questions and concerns raised about HB 424.  This chart outlines the flexibility the Districts of Innovation are seeking.  This is a letter that DOI superintendents sent to the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents (KASS) which further explains the reasoning behind moving forward with HB 424.


World Language Program Review – At its February meeting, the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) renewed its commitment to the World Language Program Review. Superintendents, at their September 2013 summit, had requested a year delay from the original timeline in the accountability regulations. Now, several districts have expressed concern about roll out of both the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (PGES) and the World Language Program Review pilot in 2014-15. 
Districts are reminded that the expectation for Program Reviews is one review per year with reviews conducted on a cycle based on the number of reviews a school performs (4- or 5-year cycle). Of course, schools and districts may exceed these minimum requirements. Due to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) waiver, we are required to implement PGES in 2014-15 (we have already delayed implementation by one year). 


However, given concerns, we will poll superintendents in Fast Five next week to gather input on this issue. We will provide the results to KBE at the April meeting and determine next steps.
SREB Report on Career and Technical Education – Last fall, KDE asked the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) to conduct a study of Kentucky’s 95 area technology centers and career technical centers.  The purpose was to assess the impact of career and technical education (CTE) on student performance, graduation and preparation for college and a career, as well as to examine the strength of the relationships between high school career preparation programs and the regional workforce needs of Kentucky’s businesses and industries.
While I shared an overview of the report in Monday Memo and during the February webcast, I wanted you to have access to the full report. It can be found online at the following link:  http://education.ky.gov/CTE/cter/Documents/SREB_ky_report_final.pdf. The study made some significant findings on the alignment of CTE programs and workforce needs; dual credit opportunities and career-readiness, among others.  As a result, the report made four over-arching recommendations to strengthen CTE programs in Kentucky. An executive summary can be found on pages 1-7 of the report. 
This report serves as a starting point and should not be seen as a predictor of what will or will not happen with career and technical education in the state.  Much discussion and work remains before any change happens. The report has been shared with leadership in the Kentucky General Assembly and will likely be presented to the Interim Joint Education Committee once the current session of the General Assembly has adjourned. I have invited Dr. Gene Bottoms, senior vice-president with SREB, to present the report to the CTE Advisory Committee and the Kentucky Board of Education next month.  We will then form workgroups to analyze the findings and recommendations before developing a thoughtful, long-range strategic plan for integrating and elevating career and technical education in Kentucky.
Link to Recording of and PowerPoint for the Feb. 24 Superintendents’ Webcast  – If you were unable to participate in live superintendents’ webcast on Feb. 24, a recording of the webcast is now available at the following link: http://mediaportal.education.ky.gov/leadership/commissioner/2014/02/superintendent-webcast-february-2014/. The PowerPoint that was used can be found here.
Superintendents who watch the recording are asked to complete the interactive survey questions that will remain open until the close of business on Tuesday, March 4. You can find the survey at the following link, http://app.gosoapbox.com/ using the access code kde.
Another district raises compulsory school attendance age  – This week another district, Newport Independent Schools, joined the long list of districts that have voted to raise the compulsory school attendance age to 18 as provided by Senate Bill 97 (2013). That brings the total to 144 districts.  Thanks to all who have taken action to do what is in the best interest of Kentucky’s young people!
Legislative Update, Week of February 24, 2014 – Below is a summary of this week’s legislative activity. If you have questions, contact Tracy Herman at (502) 564-4474 or via e-mail at tracy.herman@education.ky.gov.
Budget Bill
HB 235 is the budget bill.  The entire executive branch budget proposal can be found on the State Budget Director’s website: http://www.osbd.ky.gov/
House Education Committee
The following bills passed out of committee this week:
HB 121 (Rep. Henderson) requires a principal to notify the superintendent any incident involving a knife or firearm committed by any person.  The superintendent will determine notification if parents and legal guardians of student of the incident.
HB 383 (Rep. Wuchner) updates the school calendar statute by defining "minimum school term," student attendance day," "student instructional year," and "teacher professional day".  Permits employee delegates to attend regional or district professional meetings held on days when school is open and requires school to be closed on regular or primary election days but allows those days to be used for professional activities.  The bill has an emergency provision.
HB 424 (Rep. Larry Clark) allows a waiver or modification of the statewide assessment system for schools participating in a district of innovation plan, under specific conditions.  The bill allows a district of innovation to use student assessments other than those required by the state board, under specific conditions.
HCR 11 (Rep. Imes) encourages the Kentucky High School Athletic Association, local school districts, and schools to voluntarily promote trapshooting as a high school sport.
Senate Education Committee
The Senate Education Committee did not meet this week.
Next Week
The House Education Committee is scheduled to meet on Tuesday at 8:00 am in the Capitol Annex, Room 129.
House Budget Review Subcommittee on Elementary and Secondary Education is scheduled to meet on Wednesday at Noon in the Capitol Annex, Room 111.

The Senate Education Committee is scheduled to meet on Thursday at 11:30 am in the Capitol Annex, Room 171.

Agendas have not been released for next week.  Please check the LRC website for updated daily calendars: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/legislative_calendar/index.aspx
Also, for the most up to date information on committee membership, please go to the LRC’s main page: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/home.htm
Commissioner’s Blog – This week my blog is titled “Senate Bill 1: Plan, Do, Study, Act” and focuses on the need for reflection on three years of implementation of Unbridled Learning in Kentucky and potential adjustments that may be needed to ensure that even more of our students graduate ready for college, career and citizenship. You can access the blog at the following link: http://kyedcommissioner.blogspot.com/2014/02/senate-bill-1-plandostudyact.html.
Superintendents’ Spotlight Featuring Charlotte Bernard, Clinton County –
The Clinton County school district, a progressing district, is dedicated to improving academic achievement and the overall educational experience for students.  The district has made a strong commitment to supporting teachers as they upgrade instructional efficacy and align curriculum with the new Kentucky Core Academic Standards.
Extensive teacher training in recent years, including numerous days devoted to curriculum mapping, deconstructing standards and developing formative assessments, have resulted in noticeable improvements in the classroom. An instructional strategies mini-conference organized by the district last May provided instructional staff (both certified and classified) choices of more than 30 different content-specific sessions to help meet professional growth needs.  Job-embedded training occurs regularly through building-level curriculum coaches, professional learning communities in each school, and vertical team meetings on monthly early release Wednesdays.
The mission of the district is to collaborate with the community to inspire life-long learning and future success.  Clinton County High School, a proficient and progressing school, has been recognized at the state level for its great improvement in the number of college- and career-ready students, as well as for its model intervention program. The Clinton County school district also has been participating in the AdvanceKY initiative to increase the number of students taking advanced courses in middle and high school. Teachers have completed a great deal of curricular training at Laying the Foundation and AP Summer Institutes to help ensure the success of this effort.  In recognition of our work in this area, in 2012, the College Board selected our district for the Advanced Placement (AP) District Honor Roll. In 2013, Clinton County had its highest number of students ever pass AP exams.
The district has also embraced the use of the Continuous Instructional Improvement Technology System (CIITS) platform for lesson planning and assessment and is continually in the top tier of districts highlighted by the state for CIITS utilization. All teachers are participating this school year in a districtwide peer observation program. The superintendent and principals meet regularly to prepare for full implementation of the district’s Professional Growth and Effectiveness System.  Diagnostic assessment and progress monitoring through NWEA MAP and district-made benchmark assessments are utilized, along with a myriad of other data, to place students into appropriate academic experiences. Schools at every level are focused on identifying and meeting individual needs with intervention and enrichment opportunities.
Although Clinton County has seen great improvements in recent years, this success only strengthens our resolve to continue pushing forward.  For the future, the district is striving to achieve proficiency at all levels as we remain true to the vision: Expecting Excellence Every Day.
If you have questions on any of the articles included in this edition of Fast Five, please contact me at the e-mail address or phone number found below.
Terry Holliday, Ph.D.
Commissioner of Education 
Kentucky Department of Education
Office 502-564-3141
Fax 502-564-5680
E-mail Terry.Holliday@education.ky.gov
Twitter @kycommissioner 
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/kydeptofed