Kentucky Academic Standards

Published: 9/25/2015 2:50 PM

​Senate Bill 1 (2009) required the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), in collaboration with the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE), plan and implement a comprehensive process for revising the academic content standards in all areas. This page documents the development of Kentucky's academic standards that collectively are known as the Kentucky Academic Standards (KAS).​​​

English/language arts and mathematics standards
Citing a need for new common standards, 48 states joined together in the Common Core State Standards Initiative to develop new English/language arts and mathematics standards.  The National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers coordinated the state-led effort.

In February 2010, Kentucky was the first state to adopt the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and subsequently incorporated them into the Kentucky Academic Standards. The new English/language arts and mathematics standards were first taught in Kentucky schools in the 2011-12 school year.

Standards Basics
Fact Sheet

Myth vs. Fact

Top 10 reasons to support the Common Core

Why administrators support the Common Core

Why teachers support the Common Core

What a parent can expect from the Common Core

PTA’s Parents Guide to Student Success (includes grade-by-grade parent guides to the Common Core)

Teacher Voices -- Kentucky teachers speak out in favor of the Common Core State Standards
     VIDEO: Why are higher standards important for students and teachers in the classroom?
     VIDEO: Why do teachers need to help students meet the higher standards?
     VIDEO: What would you say to a critic of the common core?
     VIDEO: Why are assessments in the classroom important for teachers and students?

All Eyes on Kentucky, a video related to the Common Core Academic Standards and produced by the School Improvement Network; click here to view.

The Hunt Institute and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) have developed a series of video vignettes that explain the Common Core State Standards in depth. An overview is available, as are individual vignettes on mathematics and English/language arts.

Standards Development
News Release announcing the Common Core State Standards Initiative

New Release soliciting public feedback on the standards
The Common Core State Standards: Insight into Their Development and Purpose
​Authored by David T. Conley, Co-Chair of the Common Core State Standards Validation Committee, this publication provides a clear, concise, and accurate summary of the rationale and development process of the Common Core, along with a summary of the research base supporting the standards and evidence that the Common Core State Standards will prepare students for college and careers.

Standards Adoption
Kentucky's Process for Adopting the New Common Core Standards

Webcast of joint meeting Adopting the Common Core State Standards

Joint Resolution Supporting the Adoption and Integration of the Kentucky Academic Standards

Support for the Standards
KY Business Support for the Common Core

Kentucky Board of Education Resolution in Support of Senate Bill 1, the Kentucky Academic Standards and college/career-readiness for all

Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence Resolution in Support of the Kentucky Academic Standards

Standards Implementation
Kentucky began implementing the standards in 2010 through a series of regional leadership networks with representation from every district in the state.  Kentucky teachers first taught and assessed the standards in the 2011-12 school year with results reported in the fall of 2012.  See news release.

Collaborative tools help Kentucky teachers with standards implementation (Hechinger Report)


Standards Tests
Due to the implementation mandates of Senate Bill 1 (2009), Kentucky opted to contract with a vendor to develop aligned state tests of the English/language arts and mathematics standards, as it has with state tests in the past.  While Kentucky was originally a participating/advisory state  in both national testing consortia, Smarter Balanced and PARCC, the state has since withdrawn from both.

PARCC withdrawal letter

Science StandardsNGSS Logo small.jpg
Kentucky was one of 26 lead states involved in the development of Next-Generation Science Standards (NGSS). As a Lead State Partner, Kentucky educators had a great degree of input on shaping the standards along with the other lead states. This process was coordinated by Achieve, an education non-profit organization.

VIDEO: Next-Generation Science Standards, by States for States

The Next-Generation Science Standards

The NGSS were based on the National Research Council’s Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas published by the National Academies Press. A brief outlining the Framework is available for download.

Kentucky's Next-Generation Science Standards Facts

Comparing Kentucky's Former Science Standards with the NGSS

The Need for New Science Standards

Frequently Asked Questions about the NGSS

The Next-Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are standards with a purpose. The NGSS shift expectations of students from memorization to understanding, and from recitation to application, providing teachers and students with the tools to transform science education into something that students can use to make sense of the world throughout their lives. The standards require shifts in both student learning and classroom instruction. Such shifts will help create opportunities for all students to meet the expectations set forth by the NGSS.

The following videos function as a primer to the NGSS. They videos provide an overview of the vision for the NGSS, as well as in-depth descriptions of each of the standards’ three dimensions. For the purpose of introducing the innovations in the standards, each of the three dimensions are described separately here, but in the NGSS, the integration of all three dimensions is fundamental to enabling students to shift from passive observers to active participants in science.

Importantly, the videos showcase teachers making sense of the standards by engaging in performances that students might do in a classroom, and highlight knowledge application as a vehicle for understanding. (from a blog written by NGSS Writing Team Leader Brett Moulding; videos from Achieve and the Teaching Channel)
VIDEO: NGSS, A Vision for K-12 Science Education 
VIDEO: NGSS, Crosscutting Concepts


Standards Development
Development Process for the Next-Generation Science Standards

Kentucky Teacher article on Kentucky being chosen as a lead state

Kentucky Teacher article on science/social studies standards development

Standards Adoption
In June 2013, the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) was the second state in the nation to adopt the Next-Generation Science Standards.  (See minutes -- page 20)

A public comment period followed in July. A summary of public comments (both written and verbal) were compiled into the Statement of Consideration. A video recording of the public hearing held July 23 may be accessed here. Based on the public comments received, at its August 2013 meeting the KBE voted unanimously to move the standards forward without change. 

The governor overrode a legislative subcommittee and approved the regulation incorporating the NGSS into the Kentucky Academic Standards in September 2013.

The version of the NGSS approved by the Board on June 5 assigns the middle school performance expectations to individual grades using Achieve's revised conceptual progressions model for middle school. Download the Science KAS that includes middle grade designations.
Support for the Standards
Core standards will unlock better future for kids, state
(Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Champions for Education, Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence)
National Scientific Community
Standards Implementation
Kentucky began implementing the standards in the fall of 2013 through a series of regional leadership networks with representation from every district in the state. Kentucky teachers are scheduled to first teach the new Kentucky Core Academic Standards in science in the 2014-15 school year.  





Rebecca Blessing
Office of Guiding Support Services/General Counsel
Division of Communications
500 Mero Street, 6th Floor CPT
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-2000
Fax (502) 564-3049