Master Class: Thirty Million Words Initiative
Presented by: Dr. Dana Suskind, Director, Thirty Million Words Initiative, University of Chicago, IL
Sponsored by: W.K. Kellogg Foundation
the age of four, children from low-income families have heard 30
million fewer words than their more affluent peers. This word gap is one
of the key factors driving the achievement gap. Dr. Dana Suskind's
groundbreaking research explores how new technology can track children's
language development and provide meaningful feedback to parents.
Reference: NBC Education Nation Summit 2013
The Kentucky Association of School Superintendents (KASS) is launching an initiative designed to strengthen the leadership capacity of the state’s 173 top district administrators.
KASS Executive Director Tom Shelton announced establishment of the “Kentucky Superintendent’s Academy” last week during the KASS annual conference in Lexington.’
The Academy, to be created through a partnership with the National Institute for School Leadership, will involve a two-year program of study based on leadership research from another organization, the National Center on Education and the Economy. Over the 24-month period, participating superintendents will attend 18 days of face-to-face instruction with additional time to be spent on online research and self study.
Up to 50 superintendents are being sought to volunteer for the first class of the academy.
In a statement, Shelton said, “The framework and design for the Academy will stem from the research’s conclusions as to the most critical factors for highly effective schools, examined through global, state (particularly the Every Student Succeeds Act), and local contexts. The expected outcome is that superintendents will plan and begin the coherent redesign (or refinement) of their district’s systemic structures and policies aligned to the research findings and expressed through a comprehensive Action Learning Process.”
In the “Action Learning Process,” superintendents will develop a proposal that is single or multi-district in scope, supported by specifically designed seminars and learning walks in regional schools, reviewed and vetted by peers, state leaders, and national NISL facilitators, developed with the engagement of wider stakeholders for consensus building in the districts and integrated with the district’s overall strategic plan.
Class participants will formally make a formal presentation on their projects at the conclusion of the course.
According to the KASS statement, in each of the two years, participants will be expected to
1. Attend a three-day summer session and three 2-day sessions during the school year
2. Complete face-to-face and independent study involving analysis of core curriculum texts, case studies, lectures via video, and of a gap analysis of KY compared to other states and countries, and
3. Participate in the cohort Community of Practice via face-to-face and online discussion and collaborative problem solving.
Shelton said the target audience for the Academy will be veteran superintendents and the initiative would complement training provided to first-term district chief executives in the New Superintendent Leadership Series, a program operated by the Kentucky Association of School Administrators and the Kentucky Department of Education.
To visit the KSBA website, click here
Kentucky All STARS is Kentucky’s expanded five-star quality rating and improvement system for early care and education programs. Studies show that children who attend high quality early learning environments have better math,
language and social skills. The unified system serves all early care and education programs that receive public funding including child care centers, Head Start and public preschool. Kentucky All STARS is based on Kentucky’s Early Childhood Standards and research-based indicators of quality. It recognizes programs that have made a commitment to continuous quality improvement. On the path toward higher quality, programs can benefit from supports including training, technical assistance and coaching.
To request to be rated, please complete an application at www.kentuckyallstars.org.
On the expanded five-star scale, STARS level one is obtained by meeting regulatory requirements. STARS level two is obtained by completing a set of required domains and standards. STARS levels three through five feature a range of points programs must meet in order to meet to move up on the rating scale. While there are required domains for these three STARS levels, programs can choose from a menu of standards to fulfill the requirements.