Friday, December 10, 2010

KBE Takes Historic First Step

The Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) began an historic journey this week. The board took the first steps in the approval of the first “next-generation” accountability model in the U.S. based on common core standards that have now been adopted by 44 states.

I thought readers might be interested in the “talking points” I used as the board approved the goals and guiding principles for the accountability model that were developed in collaboration with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).

(Note: the goals and guiding principals document posted does not reflect the many changes made by the board at its meeting. Staff is working to incorporate those changes now, and the final document will be shared widely.)

Events Leading to Proposal for Accountability Model
· 2009’s Senate Bill 1 passed -- one of the most visionary pieces of legislation in the country.
· Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization is past due – should have been done in 2007.
· President Barack Obama establishes goal of regaining U.S. leadership among competing nations for percentage of students with college degrees (two- and four-year) – goal is 60 percent (Speech to Congress, 2009).
· U.S. Department of Education and President Obama proposed ESEA reauthorization Blueprint – spring 2010.
· Aspen Institute convened discussion on accountability model with House/Senate staff – spring 2010.
· CCSSO Standards, Assessment and Accountability Committee recommends task force to develop next-generation accountability model for ESEA reauthorization – spring 2010.
· CCSSO task force convenes – summer 2010.
· AdvanceEd and CCSSO team convene discussion on accountability and accreditation – fall 2010.
· CCSSO task force conducts virtual meetings – fall 2010.
· CCSSO Annual Policy Forum in Louisville provides public access to proposed accountability model – November 2010.

Kentucky’s Position
· First to adopt Common Core Standards – 44 states have now adopted.
· First to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for state assessment based on Common Core Standards – November 2010
· First to implement Common Core Standards – curriculum framework available June 2011, and teachers set to implement in August 2011.
· First to assess Common Core Standards – May 2012.
· Proposed – first to implement accountability model based on Common Core Standards and goal of “college- and career-ready” – August 2011.
· Proposed – first state to gain waiver of adequate yearly progress (AYP) with replacement of systemic approach to meet goal of “college- and career-ready” – submit in January 2012.

Key Comments on Goals of Accountability System
· We are moving to a more rigorous goal of “college- and career-ready.”
· We are not abandoning the proficiency goal. Proficiency is a predictor of the higher goal of college- and career-ready.
· We have over-identified schools with more diverse student populations while allowing schools with lower achievement levels and less diversity to avoid identification and interventions.
· We are moving from a focus on perfection (AYP) to a focus on continuous improvement (growth).
· We are providing a more transparent reporting system that provides actionable data for students, classrooms, teachers, administrators and school districts.
· We are providing a systemic approach that holds all stakeholders accountable.

Key Comments on Guiding Principles
· Proposed accountability model is systemic and aligned closely to the KBE’s four strategic priorities of Next-Generation Learners, Next-Generation Professionals, Next-Generation Support Systems and Next-Generation Schools and Districts.
· Model has strong focus on actionable data at all levels of the system.
· Model has focus on building school and district capacity, not simply identification.
· Model compares similar demographics of students, classrooms, schools and districts on a growth model rather than a perfection model.
· Model promotes improvement of the working conditions that impact the learning results.

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