June 21 2013

Published: 2/25/2015 4:53 PM

​In this edition of Fast Five on Friday, you will find articles on the following:

  • Effect on Kentucky of USED Offering Additional Flexibility to States that have ESEA Waivers
  • SB 8/HB 354 Changes to School Safety Requirements for Schools
  • KDE Presentation to EAARS this Week
  • Raising Compulsory Attendance Age from 16 to 18; Can Apply for Planning Grants Beginning June 26
  • Commissioner’s Blog on NCTQ Report
NOTE:  Due to summer vacations, we will not be sending Fast Five on Friday for the next two weeks.  We will resume its pulication on Friday, July 12.
Fast Five on Friday
(Five Items)
Effect on Kentucky of USED Offering Additional Flexibility to States that have ESEA Waivers – As you may have heard, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced on Tuesday that states with current ESEA waivers could apply for additional flexibility in two areas: (a) avoiding double testing of students during the transition to the new college and career ready assessments and (b) delaying the use of the teacher and principal evaluation system for the purpose of making personnel decisions. You can see Duncan’s announcement by clicking on the following link:  http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/secletter/130618.html.
The first area of additional flexibility does not apply to Kentucky because we have already implemented our new assessment aligned to college- and career-ready standards for accountability purposes.  Regarding the delay of using the teacher and principal evaluation system for making personnel decisions, we were already discussing this with United States Department of Education (USED) staff prior to yesterday’s call and had submitted a proposal for consideration.
The proposal we submitted contains the following timeline:
• 2013-14 – Statewide pilot of the teacher and principal evaluation system in all districts with a specified number of staff participating based on set criteria KDE disseminated. The criteria established the minimum number of teachers, representing various grades and content areas for the pilot implementation.
• 2014-15 – Full implementation of the system by all teachers and principals in all districts with NO high stakes accountability and NO personnel decisions made using the system.
• 2015-16 – System becomes part of accountability and districts are responsible for using the system to make personnel decisions.
Secretary Duncan was clear that the requirement of full implementation of the teacher and principal evaluation system during 2014-15 remains in place and the only flexibility is with when the system must be used to make personnel decisions. We had originally committed and were approved by USED to use the system for accountability and personnel decisions in 2014-15 and could now be granted a one-year extension for this purpose moving this to 2015-16.  You may hear the date of 2016-17 as the latest personnel decisions can be implemented but that is the deadline for states that are not as far in their implementation of the teacher and principal evaluation system as we are.
Since Kentucky is both an ESEA waiver state and a Race to the Top 3 state, our proposal must be approved by staffs in both of these offices within USED. It is not an automatic approval but we are optimistic that it will be granted and are in discussions with the appropriate folks at USED.
The extension would give Kentucky a reasonable amount of time to gather data on the system to validate it and provide guidance in using the system for making personnel decisions in a fair and equitable manner. 
Questions on this matter can be submitted to Felicia Smith at (502) 564-9850 or via e-mail at Felicia.Smith@education.ky.gov
SB 8/HB 354 Changes to School Safety Requirements for Schools – The passage of Senate Bill 8/HB 354 (http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/13RS/SB8.htm), which changes several of Kentucky’s current school safety statutes, will take effect on June 25, 2013.  This bill expands current law by requiring schools and districts to include community first responders in their emergency plans, and presents an opportunity for review and refinement of current emergency and safety practices through continuous improvement.  This bill is a logical step taken after recent tragic events occurring in our nation’s schools, ranging from intruders to tornadoes, and focuses our attention once again on our goals and efforts to keep our students and school staff safe.
As part of implementation for SB 8/HB 354, KDE has developed a set of assurances that will be monitored through ASSIST.  The ASSIST hyperlink will allow you to preview the assurances for both the district and school that will be uploaded into ASSIST this fall.  A recorded session via Lync will be available starting July 9 at 2:00 pm (EST) and you will be notified of how to access this session closer to the date. *Please note if you attended the Safe Schools and Communities Conference on June 11-12 and received a checklist pertaining to implementation of SB 8, it varies slightly from what is being required by KDE.  Districts are required at a minimum to follow those items identified within ASSIST. 
Schools have the option of beginning the school year with their current emergency plans.  Once a school’s plan has been refined to reflect the changes within SB 8/HB 354, the school will share the plan with its school council for further review prior to adopting it.  This must occur prior to completing assurances within ASSIST no later than November 1, 2013.
We will keep you apprised of our progress on this work.
If you have any questions regarding implementation, please contact Toyah Robey or Libby Taylor of the Division of Student Success at (502) 564-2116 or via e-mail at toyah.robey@education.ky.gov or libby.taylor@education.ky.gov.  If you need technical assistance for deployment, contact our collaborating partner, Kentucky Center for School Safety.
KDE Presentation to EAARS this Week – On Tuesday of this week, KDE appeared before the Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee and essentially gave the same presentation that occurred at last week’s Interim Joint Committee on Education on the Kentucky Core Academic Standards, the Kentucky TELL Survey, the Next-Generation Science Standards, End-of-Course Assessments and Constructed Response questions.  The one addition was that I was present to open the meeting with an introductory statement that is attached.  Also, the PowerPoint that was used at this meeting is attached.  The presentation was well received with many positive comments from legislators.
Raising Compulsory Attendance Age from 16 to 18; Can Apply for Planning Grant Beginning June 26 – Just a reminder that the steps on how to apply for the $10,000 planning grant for raising the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18 are available on the KDE website at:
http://education.ky.gov/school/Pages/CompAttend.aspx.  Also found on that page is a step-by-step guide (attached) for using ASSIST to complete the process beginning on June 26 and in subsequent months.  Any questions on this matter are to be directed to Thomas.edgett@education.ky.gov.
Commissioner’s Blog on NCTQ Report – I encourage you to access my blog this week that focuses on the recently released report by the National Council on Teacher Quality regarding the quality of teacher preparation programs.  This is the first ever national report of its kind.  You can access my blog that contains a link to the report at:  http://kyedcommissioner.blogspot.com/2013/06/report-card-on-teacher-prep-programs.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