January 11 2013

Published: 2/25/2015 4:21 PM
I hope the return to school has gone smoothly for you, your staff and the students.  Since we have not sent a Fast Five for a few weeks due to the holidays, this week’s has more items than usual.  In this edition of Fast Five on Friday, you will find articles on the following: 
  • Kentucky Breaks into Top 10 in National Education Ranking
  • JROTC Career Pathway to be Included in the Accountability Model
  • Draft Two of New Science Standards Released for Review and Comment
  • MUNIS Migration Update
  • Fiscal Cliff Update
  • Next Superintendents’ Webcast on Jan. 24 (10:00 – 11:00 a.m. ET; Put on your calendar!)
  • Commissioner’s Blog on Key Education Issues
Fast Five on Friday
(Seven this Week)
Kentucky Breaks into Top 10 in National Education Ranking - In a press conference yesterday, Governor Beshear announced that Kentucky’s ranking in an annual assessment of all states on key education indicators rose four places, making it 10th in the nation for its efforts to improve teaching, raise student achievement and many other variables related to public education. Attached is the section of the report that highlights Kentucky.  The press release is titled “KY Breaks into Top 10 in National Education Ranking” and can be found at http://kentucky.gov/Pages/home.aspx.
Each year, Education Week (a national publication that focuses on P-12 education) produces a special issue, “Quality Counts.”  The report tracks key education indicators and grades states on their policy efforts and outcomes.  Last year, Kentucky ranked 14th in the nation.  In 2010, the state was in 34th place in this annual report.
“Quality Counts” provides data and information about states’ efforts in six areas:

• K-12 Achievement
• Standards, Assessments & Accountability
• Teaching Profession
• School Finance
• Transitions & Alignment
• Chance for Success (an index that combines information from 13 indicators that cover state residents’ lives from cradle to career)
States were assigned overall letter grades based on the average of scores for the six categories.  This year, Kentucky’s overall grade was B- an improvement over last year’s grade and a higher grade than the national average, which was a C+.
No states received a grade of A in the 2013 edition of “Quality Counts.”  The highest-ranking state was Maryland, with a B+.  Three states received B grades; eight states (including Kentucky) received B- grades; and 19 states received C+ grades.
This is the 17th edition of the annual “Quality Counts” report, and the theme this year is the impact of a school’s social and disciplinary environment on students’ ability to learn and on the teacher and administrators tasked with guiding them.
JROTC Career Pathway to be Included in the Accountability Model - Students that successfully complete the sequence of courses within an approved JROTC program will receive a Certificate of Training and are recommended for promotion within a branch of the military.  The Kentucky Department of Education’s Office of Career and Technical Education (OCTE) recognizes the military as a viable career pathway.  The military career pathway is recognized within the Government and Public Safety Career Cluster.  Thus, JROTC will be included in the college and career readiness accountability model.
In order for schools to receive credit for JROTC students, students participating in this career pathway will need to be recorded in the Technical Education Database System (TEDS).  To correctly enter students in TEDS please refer to the attached document.  CTE Coordinators will need to work with the JROTC instructors in collecting the necessary data.
To achieve career ready status, a student must be a senior preparatory student enrolled in one of the three JROTC career pathways.  The student must pass the ASVAB (50th percentile or higher) or WorkKeys (Silver Certificate: 4 or above on the Applied Math, Locating Information, and Reading for Information) assessments in addition to achieving the Certificate of Training.
Your continued support of career and technical education is appreciated.  Please contact either Sarah Galliher (sarah.galliher@education.ky.gov<mailto:sarah.galliher@education.ky.gov>) or Kiley Whitaker (kiley.whitaker@education.ky.gov<mailto:kiley.whitaker@education.ky.gov>) if you have any questions.
Draft Two of New Science Standards Released for Review and Comment - The second draft of the Next-Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is now available for public review. The NGSS may be accessed at http://www.nextgenscience.org/next-generation-science-standards.
The second draft of the standards resulted from tens of thousands of comments submitted during the first public review in May 2011 and subsequent state review. This draft also includes guidelines for how NGSS aligns to college and career readiness goals.
The Kentucky Department of Education encourages educators, parents, business people, lawmakers, scientists, engineers and all others interested in science education to review the second draft of the standards and submit their comments online at http://www.nextgenscience.org/next-generation-science-standards. The public review period continues through January 29 and is an important opportunity for Kentucky residents to provide input on the standards that will guide how our nation’s students will learn science for years to come.
The full news release on the draft science standards can be found at:  http://education.ky.gov/comm/Documents/R002sciencestandards.pdf.
MUNIS Migration Update - The finish line has been crossed with 173 local school districts successfully transitioning to the MUNIS (financial management system for local school districts) cloud.  This transition was completed on time, on budget and with great success.  Kentucky’s K-12 education system now has the largest cloud-based financial management system in the United States. 
The only district that has not transitioned to the MUNIS cloud is the Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS).  As next steps, the department will continue to work with JCPS on a cloud transition plan for the district and will begin the work for the cloud-based MUNIS accumulator of all 174 districts’ MUNIS data so that state leaders, including legislators, can get much more frequent  snapshots of K-12 financial data. 
Congratulations on this achievement and thanks to all those in your schools and districts that helped to make this possible!
Fiscal Cliff UpdateAttached is a memorandum from the Penn Hill Group in Washington, DC that provides a good summary of the deal that was struck this month on the fiscal cliff.
Next Superintendents’ Webcast on Jan. 24 – The next superintendents’ webcast will occur on Thursday, Jan. 24 from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. ET.  Topics for the webcast will be Operation Preparation, delivery planning, legislative update and virtual meetings with the commissioner for superintendents by coop regions.
We will send you the PowerPoint and link to the webcast closer to the actual date of the broadcast.  If you have other topics you would like to see addressed, e-mail
Commissioner’s Blog on Key Education Issues – Check out my blog this week on key education issues for 2013 at http://kyedcommissioner.blogspot.com/2013/01/key-education-issues-for-2013.html.
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