In 2009 the Kentucky General Assembly passed Senate Bill 1---the biggest education reform since KERA in the 1990’s. While you hear the term used a lot, it can be hard to understand. In a monthly series of web articles, Scott County Schools will translate the education reform outlined in Senate Bill 1 to answer this important question for students, parents and community members in Scott County.
Senate Bill 1 revised academic standards and the state testing system. These changes are being implemented this year. In its basic form, Senate Bill 1 allowed Kentucky to adopt more rigorous national standards in English/Language Arts and Mathematics and change the state testing system to better monitor student success.
As part of Senate Bill 1, the Kentucky Department of Education and the Council for Post-Secondary Education have worked with teachers from every district in the state to identify what students need to know to be successful starting in kindergarten and continuing each year as they progress toward graduation. These are the Kentucky Core Academic Standards you often hear mentioned.
Teachers in Scott County Schools have used the new academic standards to set very specific, easy to understand learning targets for students in their classrooms. This reform changes the way student learning is monitored and evaluated in the classroom throughout the year, at the end of a course and during statewide assessment at the end of the year to ensure students meet the identified learning targets.
All of this is done to prepare every Kentucky graduate to meet entry level college course requirements. When students are college/career ready, they perform better and college graduation rates increase. They are also better prepared for work after graduation if they do not attend college, career or technical school. Students in Kentucky must be ready to compete for jobs in a changing global economy.
Each month we will break down Senate Bill 1 and education reform in Kentucky into smaller components easier to digest. In October we will discuss the new Kentucky Core Academic Standards. In November we will cover the new testing system. Other topics include college/career readiness, council responsibilities, end-of-course assessments and early college.