Friday, December 14, 2012

Social Media and Use by Commissioner of Education

In the past, I have received some criticism for using Twitter and Facebook during the work day. While some folks use Twitter and Facebook for personal reasons, my primary use of both is business. I like to visit schools and districts and take photos of exciting things happening and then tweet the photos. I also enjoy sharing articles that I get from Twitter links that highlight interesting issues in education. Facebook serves pretty much the same purpose, so I have been utilizing Twitter much more than Facebook in recent months.

For example, I recently connected with a major study that was interesting and has implications for Kentucky education. A research study was highlighted this week from the Consortium for Policy Research in Education. This report identified seven major trends and changes shaping the teaching profession in the United States. You can see the study at

The seven trends are:
1.      The profession is becoming larger – teachers are the largest occupational group in the nation and have increased by 48 percent during the 1987-2008 period, while student enrollment increased 19 percent.
2.      The profession is becoming grayer.
3.      The profession is becoming greener; the distribution of teachers is becoming bimodal – the numbers with 25-plus years of experience are increasing, and those with less than five years are increasing, while those in between are decreasing
4.      The teaching profession has become increasingly more female.
5.      There is a gap between the percentage of minority students and minority teachers, and the rates at which minority teachers leave schools are considerably higher than that of white teachers.
6.      Students who become teachers have lower SAT scores than those who do not go into teaching.
7.      The profession is becoming less stable with increasing turnover rates.

This study has implications for recruitment, training, hiring, professional learning, retention and retirement issues connected to our Kentucky teaching force. Superintendents and deans of education would be well served by connecting to this research.

All in all, I think Twitter and other social media software have more advantages to disadvantages, and as one user, I gain a great deal of information in a fast and useable method through the use of social media. We at the Kentucky Department of Education believe that these tools are an excellent way to not only get information, but also to communicate information about Kentucky education. Visit me on Twitter @kycommissioner and check out the Department of Education’s Facebook page at!/kydeptofed.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Need for College Credit for High School Students

In past blogs, I have written about the work of the Governor’s Transforming Education in Kentucky (TEK) Task Force. In reviewing our progress toward implementing the recommendations from that task force, I found that the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) and partners have accomplished almost every one of the recommendations.

The most recent accomplishment was the implementation of the Executive Order that merged career and technical education within KDE. One of the big recommendations left to work on is ensuring that every student has an opportunity to earn college credit while in high school.

Recently, KDE did a survey of school districts to ask about dual credit issues. Here are some of the results.
·         Over 32 percent of school districts do not offer dual credit for career and technical courses.
·         Over 97 percent of school districts do offer dual credit for college general education courses.
·         Over 60 percent of the districts require parents/students to pay for tuition costs.
·         Over 60 percent of districts require parents/students to pay for textbooks.
·         Only 30 percent of districts utilize virtual learning for dual credit.

As I visit school districts across Kentucky, I find many variations in the cost of dual credit. In some locations, the postsecondary institution has funding to offer dual credit at no cost to students. In other locations, students pay the full tuition costs that a college student would pay.

The results of our survey and my personal visits reveal a number of concerns about equity of opportunity across Kentucky for students to have equal access to dual credit courses. Why is dual credit a good idea?

A recent study from Jobs for the Future – Taking College Courses in High School: A Strategy for College Readiness – studied the impact of dual credit courses in Texas. Texas has had a strategy around college readiness and dual credit for a number of years. Here are some of the findings

·         Students who take dual credit courses were 2.2 times more likely to enroll in higher education.
·         Students who took dual credit courses were two times more likely to return for a second year of college.
·         Students who took dual credit courses were 1.7 times more likely to complete a college degree.

While Kentucky is making terrific progress in the number of students graduating from high school who are college/career-ready (from 34 percent in 2010 to 47 percent in 2012), and Kentucky colleges seeing significant increases in the number of students who obtain two- and four-year degrees, we have much work to do.

There is a strong correlation between economic levels of a state and individuals with the education level of the workforce and individuals. It appears that the Governor’s TEK Task Force was right on target with recommending that EVERY student have access to college-level credit courses while in high school. It is time to make certain that we ensure access is equal in cost, number of courses and quality.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Interesting Paradox

I was in Washington, D.C., attending two meetings this week. The first meeting was a convening of folks who were discussing the national landscape for teacher evaluation systems. The group was very interested in the work we are doing in Kentucky to integrate the implementation of Common Core Standards and teacher evaluation.

The second meeting I attended was the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB). I am currently serving a four-year term on this group, which sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), or the Nation's Report Card.

I was struck by the undercurrent at both meetings. All of D.C. is talking about the fiscal cliff and the potential impact not only on the economy, but on specific programs. What started as great hope for a resolution after the election has now turned into another stand-off between Democrats and Republicans.

It is paradoxical to me that in Kentucky and other states, we are talking about education reform and working hard to implement reform; however, we are looking at across-the-board cuts of 8-10 percent in federal funds. That reality came clear to me in the NAGB meeting when we discussed preparing for the 10 percent cut in programs and services for NAEP in 2013.

In the past, I have clearly communicated to superintendents the impact of sequestration of federal funds. It is time for local school officials to make direct calls to our congressional delegation to let them know that we need them to resolve this issue. Failure to resolve this issue means that school districts, when making employment decisions in the early spring, will be looking at significant staff reductions in all federal programs. 

This means a significant impact on education reform efforts across Kentucky and the nation. Our children deserve better than what Washington is currently offering.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Taking Stock of Unbridled Learning Results

The Unbridled Learning accountability results have been out for a few days now, and we are seeing lots of articles, board presentations, parent workshops and discussion about the accountability results.

Early reports seem to focus on the overall drop in proficiency (which was predicted) and the new emphasis by the state to provide a percentile rank for schools and districts. However, there has not been much discussion about the significant increase in the percentage of graduates who are college- and career-ready. This is somewhat disappointing, since college and career readiness is the underlying principle for the accountability model and was the key requirement from 2009’s Senate Bill 1.

Other key issues we are hearing about include the usefulness of the tools provided. While there are massive amounts of data in the new School Report Card, schools are reacting very positively to the data being in one place and the user-friendly nature of the School Report Card. The report card gives a quick and easy snapshot of performance of schools and districts and also provides a multilevel, complex view of the components that make up the overall score for schools and districts. 

The percentile rank system has been well received by most, since it provides an easy way to understand how your school/district performance compares to other Kentucky schools. This percentile system is similar to what parents receive from testing reports. Parents may not understand the test score from the state or national test; however, they do understand and want to know how their child's performance compares to other children across the state and nation.

The release of the accountability model has also given the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) an opportunity to receive constructive feedback on concerns with the model. Among these concerns are:
  • complexity of the system
  • science and social studies scores -- too high, compared to math and reading
  • comparisons with national assessments
  • understanding student growth
  • understanding student gap group results
  • perceived lack of consequences for low-performing schools

KDE will share these concerns and others as we present the Unbridled Learning accountability results to the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) at the December board meeting. Most of these concerns can be addressed by clarification of the model and how the results are reported.

There will be those that call for immediate action to address concerns. I want to close with some of the state and national issues that will certainly impact any immediate or long-range changes to the model.

The Kentucky Board of Education has certainly stated a clear intent to improve the accountability model as we get feedback from the field. The first issue we must consider is that schools and districts entered the 2012-13 school year knowing the "rules of the game" for accountability, and we should not change the rules in the middle of the game. Therefore, I would recommend to KBE that no major changes be made to regulations governing the model until we have at least two years of data from the model. Also, we are governed by the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) waiver, and any changes to our accountability model would require federal review. Finally, all states are hoping for  reauthorization of ESEA (No Child Left Behind), which most certainly will impact the Unbridled Learning model.

As we close out November, parents across Kentucky now know if their child is on target to be college- and career-ready. From 3rd grade through 12th grade, every student and parent has the information to know the status of a trajectory to reach college/career readiness by graduation. This information provides students, parents and educators with the information needed to take action to ensure more of our students reach college/career readiness and have a positive impact on the economy of Kentucky.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Improvement in College and Career Readiness

In 2011, I challenged all superintendents and school board chairs to sign the Commonwealth Commitment to College and Career Readiness. Prior to this, Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) President Bob King had gotten the support of every public and private postsecondary president to also sign the commitment.

We had similar success in that all 174 superintendents and board chairs signed the commitment. We then began publishing the percentage of Kentucky graduates who met the CPE benchmarks for college/career readiness (CCR) with the class of 2010. The first report showed 34 percent of Kentucky graduates met the CCR benchmarks.

Fast-forward to the most recent release of CCR rates, and we find more than 47 percent of graduates met the CCR benchmarks. This is remarkable progress and means a lot to graduates and their families. 

The average size for a graduating public school class in Kentucky is estimated at 42,000. Using this estimate, we had 14,280 graduates who met CCR benchmarks in 2010, and we had 19,740 graduates meet CCR benchmarks in 2012. This means over 5,400 more students graduated ready to enter credit-bearing courses at any of our postsecondary programs or enter careers that pay a living wage. This represents a huge savings for students and families of over $5 million that they will not have to pay for remediation and developmental courses that do not give college credit.

This blog serves to highlight the early success of the Unbridled Learning accountability model. I want to provide recognition to those students, parents, schools and districts that are leading the way with CCR.

Top Ten Districts for CCR Percentages
Beechwood Ind.          88.8%
Ft. Thomas Ind.           70.2%
Hancock County          68.8%
Hickman County          77.6%
Oldham County           70.6%
Paintsville Ind.             74.1%
Pikeville Ind.                68.8%
Walton-Verona Ind.    79.8%
Williamstown Ind.       79.7%

Top Ten Districts for Growth in CCR Percentages
Augusta Ind.                33.7-point increase
Clinton County            32.8-point increase
Cumberland County    32.3-point increase
Danville Ind.                27.3-point increase
Eminence Ind.             34.7-point increase
Fleming County           25.7-point increase
Lee County                  25.3-point increase
Paintsville Ind. 2          9.1-point increase
Pulaski County             26.8-point increase
Wayne County             33.7-point increase

Congratulations to these districts. I also want to recognize the overall growth in CCR of the vast majority of our districts. This year, 100 districts met their CCR goals, and 46 districts improved by over 10 percent.

Check out the CCR map, and make certain to give a pat on the back to those schools and districts who are helping more students be prepared for their future.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Educational Progress Worth Celebrating

Sometimes when we’re in the midst of the hard work of improving schools, it is easy to forget how far Kentucky has come.

The state – all of us – has invested in better schools in the past two decades. And the investment is paying off in students who are better prepared than they have ever been.

Over the past 20 years, Kentucky has moved to the middle of states in academic achievement. We’re continuing to move upward. At the same time, other states that didn’t focus on schools like we did have moved steadily downward.

Kentucky’s progress is worth celebrating. Our educators deserve considerable praise for their effort, as do our elected leaders for staying the course on better schools.

But that course is getting tougher. While our students have been achieving far more, and while they look better when compared to students in other states, the rest of the world has not stood still. Indeed, students in a number of other countries have been achieving at far higher rates than students in the United States.

The world for our students is much different than it was just a few years ago. To be competitive for today’s jobs, young adults will have to command as much knowledge and skills as their peers not just in other states but those in other countries.

Today’s economy is global. What happens around the world – from energy prices to interest rates to technology breakthroughs – affects us quickly here. The Kentucky coal that used to be sold in our region now moves across the world; indeed, a new deal will ship $7 billion of Kentucky coal to India.

These days, the best predictor of individual economic success is the quality of his or her education. None of us has lived in a time where education has been so important, not just to individuals but also to communities and states. At least in Kentucky, we have come to understand and act upon that reality. This is why the state has adopted higher academic standards for our students and new tests to measure their progress.

Our goals have increased to reflect that new international reality. Instead of demanding proficiency in just the basics of education, we’re now expecting to get students to be ready to keep learning beyond high school; to have the knowledge and skills that make them ready for college or today’s workplace.

Our students are as smart as any in the world, and we are now expecting more of them. We didn’t do it arbitrarily. We did it because these are the standards of the world and we want Kentucky students to be competitive.

Now that we’ve released the first results from our new tests, we’re seeing that we have a ways to go. The numbers of students who had been distinguished or proficient went down. This isn’t because they aren’t making progress, it is because we are measuring them against higher standards. We’ve raised the height of the basket, lengthened the football field, made the golf course longer, pushed back the outfield fences.

It would certainly be more enjoyable for me to keep the tests the way they were and see more Kentucky students get higher scores. It also would be wrong. We do our students no favors when we tell them they are ready to succeed in the world when they are not.

And we want them to succeed.

We expected the test scores to be lower, and we’ve been saying so. But the scores are jarring nevertheless to students and their parents, to teachers and principals, to taxpayers and to elected officials.

The new test scores can’t be compared to the old ones; they measure different things.

But we know that we are making the kind of progress that matters – more of our students are leaving high school better prepared to succeed in the world. Our remediation rates in higher education are getting lower. Our ACT scores are steadily moving upward. We have moved increasingly closer to the national average, and I suspect we will surpass it in a few years if we continue to stay focused.

The scores we’ve released this week are lower than we want, but readiness is going up. And that is something Kentucky should be quite proud of.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Restraint and Seclusion in Kentucky

Over the past 18 months, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) and the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) have been working with a number of stakeholders to address parent and community concerns about the use of restraints and seclusions in Kentucky schools.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has brought this issue to the forefront through publications and recommendations from the U.S. Department of Education. The KBE recently approved a Statement of Consideration that was the final step in the process of approving a regulation on restraint and seclusion for submission to the General Assembly.

I am dedicating my blog space this week to a recent press release from one of our key partners, Kentucky Protection and Advocacy. I encourage all readers to review the press release below and the new booklet, Restraint & Seclusion – The Reality in Kentucky Schools. The booklet is available here.

Our efforts at KDE and KBE are to make schools safer for students and staff. Only through clear guidelines and training can we address the growing concerns about improper use of restraints and seclusion. We have listened to all stakeholders and modified the regulation where possible to meet concerns of stakeholders. It is now time for Kentucky educators to come together and move forward with improving the safety of our schools for students and staff.

 Press Release

Contact: Marsha Hockensmith                                  
or Lucy Heskins
Phone: 502.564.2967                                     
Kentucky Protection & Advocacy

10:00 AM EDT, October 25, 2012 


FRANKFORT KY, OCTOBER 25, 2012: Kentucky

Kentucky does not have any law regulating the use of restraint and seclusion in public schools. Kentucky teachers can restrain children for any (or no) reason using restraint techniques that have been proven to be dangerous and even deadly. Kentucky teachers can also seclude children by locking them in a closet or small room with no lighting or ventilation, without access to food or a bathroom, for hours or even all day. Like restraint, seclusion techniques have injured, traumatized, and even killed children. Significantly, schools are not required to tell parents when their child is restrained or secluded.

Kentucky Protection & Advocacy, a client-directed legal rights agency that protects and promotes the rights of individuals with disabilities, and the Commonwealth Council on Developmental Disabilities, an agency that promotes systemic changes through advocacy and capacity building, release “Restraint & Seclusion – The Reality in Kentucky Schools.” This booklet details stories of Kentucky children and youth who have been hurt by restraint or seclusion in public schools. The booklet also details alternatives to the use of restraint and seclusion being used in one school district in Kentucky, and information about rules for restraint and seclusion currently proposed by the Kentucky Department of Education.

~ End ~

Friday, October 19, 2012

Career and Technical Education in Kentucky

On October 16, pursuant to an executive order issued by Governor Steve Beshear, the Office of Career and Technical Education was merged with the Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE’s) Carl Perkins branch to form the KDE Office of Career and Technical Education (CTE). Associate Commissioner Dale Winkler will head this new office. I am personally very excited about the potential to elevate and integrate career and technical education within the department.

Why is this so important to education and the economy in Kentucky? Here is one example.

Governor Beshear recently proclaimed October 5 as Manufacturing Day in Kentucky. The National Association of Manufacturers, the Manufacturing Institute, Kentucky Association of Manufacturers and the Foundation for Kentucky Industry have designated the day as a launch point to emphasize the many values of manufacturing.

Governor Beshear stated that “manufacturing is a wonderful career path for highly skilled workers within a crucial sector of the economy. The manufacturing community is a key economic driver in the Commonwealth, representing $27 billion, or 17 percent, of Kentucky’s GDP, with more than 215,000 people working in manufacturing in Kentucky.”

This week, I had the opportunity to tour an exciting program that is focused on manufacturing. I visited the Toyota Advanced Manufacturing Technician Program (AMT) at the Toyota Georgetown manufacturing plant. The AMT program has become a national model of how business can collaborate with education to create bright futures for students. In collaboration with numerous school districts in the region, Bluegrass Community and Technical College and other local businesses, students are offered a two-year intensive program that combines the technical, work and academic skills to prepare students for manufacturing jobs.

Of interest to me was the statement that over 600,000 manufacturing job openings are available in the U.S., and industry is having a hard time finding workers with the technical skills and work skills to fill these jobs that pay a living wage. What great news for students in this program and other similar programs across the U.S. It also was exciting to hear that there is significant interest to expand this type of program in Kentucky.

In talking with the students and instructors, I heard several suggestions for the new Office of Career and Technical Education. Among these suggestions was the expansion of our Project Lead the Way program, integration of more rigorous academic skills in career and technical courses, focusing instruction on projects and application of academic and technical skills in an integrated fashion, allowing communities to focus on specific job sector courses rather than one-size-fits-all courses, and heavily involving business and industry in career and technical programs.

Kentucky has focused on elevating and integrating career and technical education. Our Unbridled Learning accountability model gives equal weighting to college and career readiness with bonus points for students who graduate with both. Jobs are available for students who graduate with career and technical skills, as evidenced by the number of job openings in manufacturing.

Over the next few years, I hope our CTE program -- through the integration of academic and career/technical -- will provide numerous opportunities across the state that are similar to the Toyota Advanced Manufacturing Program.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Restoring Faith in Public Education

A good friend and professional colleague, Malbert Smith, sent me this article from Education Week. Malbert co-authored the article and the white paper that supports it. Malbert is research professor for early childhood, special education and literacy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I encourage readers to review the article, but here are a few highlights.

The premise of the article is that America is losing faith in public education. Gallup’s June 2012 Confidence in Institutions survey shows confidence in public schools has eroded from 58 percent who have a “great deal” or “quite a lot of confidence” in public schools in 1970 to 29 percent in 2012. Of course, the good news is that public schools rank much higher than the U.S. Congress, but, that is indeed a low bar.

Malbert shows the interesting paradox between public confidence and actual school performance. Measures such as the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) show significant gains in math and reading scores since 1970. Dropout rates are down, and graduation rates are up. While many think that our international rankings were once among the top in the world, this assumption is incorrect, and actual international rankings have actually improved in a few areas and remained flat in others. Certainly, there are many who debate the international rankings and the national test scores; however, the bottom line is that public faith in public education has eroded as has public faith in most institutions. The real question is what can we do to restore public faith in education? Malbert suggests a couple of strategies.

1 – To remain economically and politically relevant, our high school graduates must be prepared for the demands of a global economy. Adoption of college- and career-ready standards for all graduates is a good first step. Kentucky has led the way in these efforts with Common Core State Standards.
2 – Implementation of the Common Core Standards will help restore confidence. Again, Kentucky has led the way with the implementation of Common Core in 2011-12 and with testing and accountability models implemented in 2011-12. Readers should look to the results of our measures for college and career readiness to be released at the end of the month.
3 – Our leaders of both political parties have to take responsibility for restoring confidence in public education by being clear about priorities and strategies to improve public education.
4 – Educators must improve outcomes for children, and we must share not only our areas for improvement but also our success stories.

From my experience this week at the Kentucky Board of Education meeting, I would add another strategy. The media has to become more balanced.

This week, the Kentucky Department of Education reported the results from our field test of a common kindergarten screener and estimates of the number of 2012 graduates who reached college- and career-ready standards. The media only picked up on the kindergarten screener results, since the numbers indicated that only one in four students are ready for kindergarten. The media completely ignored the great news that we had seen double-digit gains in students graduating college/career-ready.

We increased the number of high school graduates who met college/career-ready standards by over 4,000. We helped parents and students save more than $5 million in cost avoidance for developmental courses. We doubled the chances of these students to graduate from a two- or four-year college. As we prepare our communities for the release of the new accountability results, hopefully this article will help you in addressing public confidence in public schools.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Getting Ready for the Numbers

The work done over the past three years by legislators, staff at the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), teachers, administrators, school staff, students, parents, community members and education partners will start to bear fruit soon. Next week at the Kentucky Board of Education meeting, I’ll share some estimates of state-level performance connected to the Unbridled Learning assessment and accountability system. School districts are reviewing their data closely, and in a few weeks, district- and school-level data related to the system will be released publicly.

This work began before I accepted the post of commissioner of education, with the passage of 2009’s Senate Bill 1. From the very earliest discussions and plans for a new system, a primary goal was to involve as many groups and individuals as possible and to communicate the work broadly. I believe these efforts have been very successful.

Although it’s a challenge to communicate information about new test scores and accountability categories before we have data in hand, we’ve engaged in a series of activities over the past 12 months to reach out to the audiences that will be impacted by and interested in the data.

I and other KDE staff have visited the state’s educational cooperatives and presented information on the upcoming data release. We’ve produced parent-friendly brochures and FAQs on the system and shared those widely. KDE’s flagship publication, Kentucky Teacher, has featured assessment and accountability in many stories. Our advisory groups have included discussion about the new system on their agendas. I recently hosted a webcast targeted at reporters and editors who will be covering the results of the new system.

Behind the scenes, KDE staff are involved in projects like designing the new School Report Card, which will be our primary vehicle for sharing the new data. Cross-agency teams are ensuring that staff in each office is kept up to date on the latest developments related to Unbridled Learning. We’re even redesigning the agency’s website to make it easier for visitors to find information.

We realized early on that KDE could not communicate about this ongoing work without the help of our partners, who have contributed their time, staff and energy to sharing information.

The Prichard Committee’s ReadyKentucky initiative, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s summer speaking tour, the chamber’s Business Leader Champions for Education initiative, the discussions at the state’s educational cooperative meetings, the Kentucky School Boards Association’s (KSBA’s) video on how to talk to the media about test scores and accountability, and the work in our school districts to prepare local communities and media outlets for the coming data release have been vital to spreading the word about the Unbridled Learning system.

All of this is in preparation for what will be the start of a new era in Kentucky public education; a time during which we will focus on the ultimate goal of college and career readiness for all students. These data are crucial to planning and improvement – for our schools, districts and this agency – and providing information about what it all will mean is a shared effort.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Innovation and Kentucky Schools

This week, I attended the Kentucky Leads the Nation (KLN) roundtable. KLN is the initiative started by Leon Mooneyhan, Ph.D., director of the Ohio Valley Education Cooperative (OVEC), in partnership with the other regional cooperatives in Kentucky.

The purpose of KLN is to help school districts engage in conversations with policymakers about how to transform education in Kentucky and across the nation through innovation/technology. The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) supports this effort as part of the state plan to transform education in Kentucky that was a charge to Governor Steve Beshear’s Transforming Education in Kentucky task force. In addition to KLN, there are several other components of the state effort.

House Bill 37, passed in 2012, describes “districts of innovation.” Rep. Carl Rollins led efforts to pass this legislation, which encourages schools and districts to rethink how learning might look in schools and districts to engage and motivate students to reach college and career readiness levels. Districts should receive information on the application process this winter, and implementation will begin with the 2013-14 school year.

For several years, Kentucky has been working with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) through the Innovation Lab Network. This coalition of nine states is working on personalized learning that can be delivered any time, any place, anywhere. The mission of the coalition is to transform the public education system by first creating demonstration sites that transform the teaching and learning process to produce more students who are college and career ready.

Another terrific partnership is with the University Of Kentucky School Of Education. The P-20 Innovation Lab has a mission of innovating for our collective educational future. The P-20 lab works directly with schools and districts to create exciting “labs” focused on transforming education.

Recently, Kentucky was one of two states selected to participate in the Global Education Leaders Program (GELP). This is an international effort to bring together strong leaders across the globe to share ideas on how to transform education.

Also recently, the Kentucky Board of Education asked KDE to move forward with the creation of a 501 c(3) entity to generate donations and funding for the efforts mentioned above. We are in the process of setting up this entity and will announce its board members in October.

There is much work going on in Kentucky with implementation of Unbridled Learning; however, we also are working hard to create new models of teaching and learning that will prepare more students for the global competition they will face for jobs and careers. For more information about our efforts toward innovation, contact David Cook, director of KDE’s Division of Innovation and Partner Engagement.