Friday, December 16, 2011

More Options, Opportunities for Students

The last few days have seen significant action around implementation of recommendations from the Governor’s Transforming Education in Kentucky (TEK) task force. For a full listing of the recommendations, go to

During the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) meeting on December 7, Tom Vanderark with Open Ed Solutions and David Cook, director of the Division of Innovation and Partner Engagement with the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), presented the actions to follow up on the TEK recommendations concerning virtual learning and earning dual credit. The three key actions that we asked KBE to focus on are:

1) changing the role of KDE from being a provider of digital learning to being a regulator/broker of digital learning
2) addressing the legislative changes necessary to change from a traditional textbook approach to a focus on instructional resources that would include not only traditional textbooks, but also digital resources
3) addressing the legislative changes necessary to have funding for digital courses follow the student

These three actions follow closely with the recommendations from the Bluegrass Institute and the Digital Learning 2020 report. We are currently working with legislative staff to draft legislation to address these key actions. While we certainly want to move forward to provide our students with equity and access to dual credit courses and high-quality content, we also want to be very careful to avoid some of the pitfalls highlighted in an article published by the New York Times this week:

Also this week, Office of Career and Technical Education Director Dale Winkler presented recommendations of the Career and Technical Education committee, which also were follow ups to the TEK report. His PowerPoint presentation may be accessed here. We look forward to working with the House and Senate Education Committees during the legislative session to put these recommendations in place.

Governor Steve Beshear appointed the Transforming Education in Kentucky Task Force in the fall of 2009. The task force presented its report in February 2011. It is exciting to see many of the recommendations coming into focus for the 2012 legislative session. Stay tuned for updates on our progress.

Given the upcoming holiday season, there will not be blogs for December 23 or 30. We will return on January 6. I hope readers have time over the coming holidays to enjoy activities with family and friends.

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