Unbridled Learning

Published: 4/21/2016 4:05 PM

​Unbridled Learning is the name given to the new era in public education in the Commonwealth of Kentucky - designed to ensure every child reaches his/her learning potential and graduates from high school ready for college and career.


Senate Bill 1, passed  in the 2009 session of the Kentucky General Assembly, set the course for Unbridled Learning in the state.

The legislation addresses many areas – what students should learn, what will be tested, how subjects will be tested, when tests are given, what should comprise the public school accountability system and more. 

The Kentucky Department of Education and the Kentucky Board of Education, along with partners such as the Education Professional Standards Board and the Council on Postsecondary Education, are continuing the work that will lead to a strong, effective system of public education in Kentucky and Unbridled Learning for every child. 

Senate Bill 1
For summary and complete versions of the Senate Bill 1 (2009), click here.

Highlights of Senate Bill 1
Learn the basics of 2009's Senate Bill 1.
Senate Bill 1 mandated new academic standards for what Kentucky students should know and be able to do at each grade level in various content areas.
Click here for more information about the standards and their development.
Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP) tests
Senate Bill 1 also required new assessments aligned with the new standards. These assessments were collectively named the Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP) tests and were first given as part of a new assessment program in the 2011-12 school year.
How are Kentucky's public schools and districts be judged on their performance?
Unbridled Learning Summary
This document summarizes the Unbridled Learning: College/Career-Readiness for All accountability model.
Unbridled Learning Presentation
Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday explains the Unbridled Learning accountability model in a videotaped presentation. Click here to view the presentation.
Parent Resources
A Parent's Guide to School Accountability in Kentucky is targeted at parents, but may be useful for other audiences. The "print" document is designed to be printed on 11"x17" paper, two-sided, then folded. The "text" document contains the text of the printable brochure.

A Parent's Guide to Testing in Kentucky is targeted at parents, but may be useful for other audiences. The "print" document is designed to be printed on 11"x17" paper, two-sided, then folded. The "text" document contains the text of the printable brochure.
What does it take to be considered college and/or career-ready under the Unbridled Learning Accountability System?  Click here to find out.
College/career-readiness test information and resources.
This brochure was produced by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and provides an overview of the new standards and testing in Kentucky.
This video produced by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce addresses the importance of the Kentucky Core Academic Standards.
NCLB and Kentucky Comparison Chart
What are the differences between NCLB's requirements and those of Kentucky's Unbridled Learning Accountability System?
Race to the Top Applications
Kentucky's application for federal Race to the Top funds provides a blueprint for the work under Unbridled Learning. The applications for Phase 1 (January 2010), Phase 2 (June 2010) and Phase 3 (December 2011) of the competition can be seen by clicking on the links for each phase.
NCLB Flexibility
In 2011, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) applied for flexibility under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, which was reauthorized in 2001 as the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.
The United States Department of Education (USED) initially approved Kentucky's waiver in February 2012, and approved amendments to Principles 1 and 2 on September 28, 2012.  USED offered a one-year extension to run through the end of the 2014-15 school year and approved Kentucky's request on August 14, 2014.
In November 2014, USED posted ESEA flexibility renewal guidance. Since Kentucky had met its commitments to the original timelines and principles of ESEA flexibility, the state was eligible to apply for a four-year waiver renewal and to participate in an expedited renewal process. It did so, and on March 31, 2015, USED issued a letter of approval to extend the state's flexibility waiver through the 2018-19 school year.  The state's waiver application can be found here
See more details on the flexibility opportunity at http://www.ed.gov/esea/flexibility
Speaking and Listening Assessment Limited Wavier Request 
As allowed by the U.S. Department of Education (USED), Kentucky is requesting a limited waiver for measuring speaking and listening as part of the reading/language arts standards. A draft of the state's waiver application request may be accessed here.

Rebecca Blessing
Office of Legal, Legislative and Communication Services
Division of Communications
500 Mero Street, 6th Floor CPT
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-2000
Fax (502) 564-3049