Senate Bill 175 (2019) calls for the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) to implement a process for reviewing all academic standards and aligned assessments beginning in the 2017-18 school year. The current schedule calls for one or two content areas to be reviewed each year and every six years thereafter on a rotating basis. The rotation schedule began in the summer of 2017 by soliciting feedback on English/language arts, mathematics and health/physical education standards. Reading and writing (English/language arts) and mathematics were the first to be reviewed for the Kentucky Alternate Assessment with a quick follow up of new social studies standards. As noted in Senate Bill 175, the changes that occur and apply to all areas of learning must also apply to the Kentucky Alternate Assessment.
In September 2019, alternate assessment teachers and content teachers from across the state were tasked with prioritizing 10 Kentucky Academic Standards per content area (except writing, it will continue to have 6) and grade, based on instructional significance. These standards would be the foundation for the development of the assessments for students who participate as part of the Kentucky Alternate Assessment.
Kentucky Academic Standards
As we move forward with new Kentucky Academic Standards, the most important part of the work is understanding the standards and how they are taught. It has always been advised that even though not all standards are tested, they should all be taught throughout the different educational settings across Kentucky Public School classrooms. In that venture the KY Standards website offers many opportunities to get to know the standards and how they are designed to proceed with instruction.
Alternate Assessment Targets
The Kentucky Academic Standard is the background and focus for content and the development of state summative assessments. However, there are times when test development occurs where the need to reduce the depth and breadth of a standard is necessary. The requirement to still maintain content alignment based on the grade level standard is non-negotiable, but the ability to reduce some of the standards initial foundation is often considered. This process does not create a new standard, but in this case develops an Alternate Assessment Target. The current definition of an Alternate Assessment Target is provided below:
Alternate Assessment Targets: (not a standard)
An Alternate Assessment Target represents limits to a selected Kentucky Academic Standard. An Alternate Assessment Target may reduce parts of the standard with specific guidance to what an assessment item could represent. Not all Kentucky Academic Standards selected for assessments will have an Alternate Assessment Target and may display the language: “No limitations. All parts of the Kentucky Academic Standard are eligible to be included as an assessment item.” This would mean that the entire standard in its original form is reduced in depth and breadth and is eligible in its entirety to be used in the development of assessment items.
- Social Studies
KDE DAC Information
Office of Assessment and Accountability
300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601