Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster

Legislator’s Log - Week of November 25, 2013

yonts a 300KENTUCKY (11/26/13) - Several weeks ago I received a packet of information from Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday’s office about the state’s latest core content standards for Kentucky schools. Included in the packet was a letter from Holliday, some history of Kentucky’s Core Academic Standards, and a “myth vs. fact” sheet from the state Department of Education about the new standards versus the old.

Now, no doubt, there has been quite a bit of discussion (some might even say controversy) about the standards, where they got their start, if the federal government was involved in the process, and what their effect has been to date. So, I think it would be helpful to go over how the whole process of revamping Kentucky’s school content standards took shape.

The process began in 2009 with the Kentucky General Assembly’s passage of legislation (Senate Bill 1) which required the state Department of Education (KDE) to work with the state’s Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) to implement a means of revising the content standards in core areas: reading, language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, arts and humanities, and career studies, to be exact.

Once SB 1 was law, the task fell to a steering committee to implement it. That led to Kentucky’s collaboration with other states through the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers to produce common core standards in math and English/language arts in grades K through 12. According to Holliday’s letter, Kentucky and 47 other states in 2009 signed an agreement to develop what is known as the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) initiative. It was considered the best route to take for Kentucky, which was expected to meet a strict timetable for implementation with no money allocated to create high-quality standards on its own.

Many thought, and still believe, that the Kentucky Core Academic Standards—adopted by the Kentucky Board of Education in 2010 and first tested in the 2011-12 Kentucky school year— were dictated by the federal government, and that the standards are a curriculum. Neither is true. The federal government was not involved in the development of the standards, Holliday has said emphatically. Development was the responsibility of the states and their teachers, administrators, higher education faculty, and business representatives.

Secondly, the standards are not a curriculum, since a curriculum determines “how” something will be learned, not “what” will be learned, Holliday explained. This further excludes the federal government, which Holliday wrote “is barred by law from dictating a national curriculum,” as are the state Board of Education and the KDE in the Commonwealth. In Kentucky, standards are set by the state; curriculum is set locally.

Basically, SB 1 has successfully improved the quality of public education in Kentucky by raising our expectations, Holliday explained. Here are some clear-cut results, according to Holliday:
-- College and career readiness of Kentucky students has increased from 34 to nearly 48 percent over the past four years.
-- The state’s high school freshmen graduation rate has increased from 75.1 percent to a 78.8 percent average.
--The number of college-bound students who meet CPE benchmarks on the ACT college admissions exam increased by over 6 percent between 2012 and 2013, said Holliday. (The CPE benchmarks show how likely it is that a student will be successful in “credit-bearing, entry-level college courses,” Holliday wrote in his letter.)
 
I’ll make a final point on SB 1. The world is big on rankings, and education rankings are an area in which Kentucky has historically fallen short. But that is really changing under SB 1. According to Education Week’s “Quality Counts” report which grades state education efforts nationwide, Kentucky ranks 10th in those efforts and outcomes for 2013; in 2011, the Commonwealth ranked a dismal 34th.

So, kudos to our students, our schools, our teachers, and our administrators for their work in changing the face of education in Kentucky. And, let’s all keep up the good work!

You might recall that I promised in a prior column to give a final word on the “2012 Kentucky Equine Survey” on which I reported a few weeks ago, so let me do that briefly. A survey mailed to over 8,000 homes in Kentucky in 2013 showed a large majority of survey respondents want to protect Kentucky’s rural land, including equine operations, from being developed. I found that interesting, and would be interested in hearing your viewpoint on that matter in coming months.

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving.
 
Please share your ideas with me by e-mailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . You can also send me a letter addressed to: Rep. Brent Yonts, Capitol Annex, Rm. 366 A, 702 Capital Ave., Frankfort KY 40601.


 
Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessarily adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources.

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16
button coupons

Stock Report

1 DOW 17,778.15
+421.28 (2.43%)    
2 S&P 2,061.23
+48.34 (2.40%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,748.40
+104.08 (2.24%)    
3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16
button classifieds

In Other News...

Christian County Falls to Owensboro

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (12/17/14) — Senior guard Aric Holman scored a game-high 21 points to lead Owensboro High past host… Read More

Webster County to Host Baptist Holiday Classic

DIXON, Ky. (12/18/14) — The Webster County High School boys' basketball program will host the 2014 Baptist Health… Read More
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

December 16, 2014 9189

Coal Miner Fatally Injured in Underground Mining…

in Top News For All Sites by Dick Brown
December 14, 2014 8354

Muhlenberg Pays Homage to U.S. Armed Forces

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
December 12, 2014 7951

Man Allegedly Threatening Medical Staff with…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Wes Miller
December 17, 2014 5899

Elderly Couple Found Shot to Death in Muhlenberg

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
December 17, 2014 5848

Three Men Charged with Burglary

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 15, 2014 4746

Hopkins County Woman Charged Second Time in Two…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
December 12, 2014 4671

Man Allegedly Hits Brother with Pickup Truck…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Wesley Miller
December 15, 2014 4256

Woman Leads Police on High-Speed Chase in Stolen…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police
December 12, 2014 3769

Man Accused of Public Intoxication, Stealing…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 15, 2014 3230

Vehicle Careens down 150 Foot Embankment with…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department

Stories Trending Today

December 17, 2014 5899

Elderly Couple Found Shot to Death in Muhlenberg

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
December 17, 2014 5848

Three Men Charged with Burglary

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 17, 2014 2064

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Dec. 17, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
December 17, 2014 1662

KSP Charges Grayson County Man with Crimes…

in General News For All Sites by Sherry H. Bray
December 17, 2014 1521

Harney-Led Lady Mustangs Top Ohio County

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Steve LeMaster
December 17, 2014 1507

KYTC Announces Winners of 2014 Adopt-a-Highway…

in General News For All Sites by Lisa Tolliver
December 17, 2014 1422

Mustangs Earn District Win over Ohio County

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Steve LeMaster
December 17, 2014 1250

Princeton Road Drug Investigation Results in…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 17, 2014 916

Change to Holiday Schedule for LBL Administrative…

in Local (Lakes) Top News by Land Between The Lakes
December 17, 2014 893

MFD Summoned to Seminary Street for Garage Fire

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by SurfKY News

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss