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.