The executive director of the citizen’s advocacy group the Pritchard Committee is voicing concerns over the new statewide student testing regime being used in Kentucky.
Stu Silberman says he hasn’t fully bought into all aspects of the new accountability system.
Kentucky students took the K-Prep exams for the first time last year. K-Prep stands for “Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress”, and is based on national common core curricula, which creates common standards for subjects such as math, English, science, and social studies. But Kentucky legislators chose to instead adopt a so-called “quality core” model from ACT Inc.
Silberman, a former Daviess County schools superintendent, was quoted in the Messenger-Inquirer as saying “I’m not sure if what we assessed was exactly Common Core. To me, the jury’s still out.”
The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence is continuing its series of meetings aimed at improving teacher quality in Kentucky. A team of experts will focus Wednesday in Frankfort on teacher preparation programs.
The group is scheduled to hear from Deborah Ball, dean of the School of Education at the University of Michigan. It will also hear presentations from the University of Louisville and Asbury University.
The panel is preparing to make recommendations for the 2014 legislative session on new ways to measure teacher effectiveness as part of Kentucky's massive public school reform effort.
Education Week magazine has ranked Kentucky in the top ten in its annual assessment of school policy and standards.
The commonwealth got two perfect scores in subcategories of the six indicators measured. One was for school accountability and another for Economy and Workforce. Overall, the commonwealth received a grade of B-minus.
Tennessee and Indiana both received grades of C+.
And while the state has tried to avoid cutting education, Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday says federal education cuts could be coming.
"We think we've solved the fiscal cliff two weeks ago. We did not," says Holiday. "It is still a reality and we encourage our congressional delegation to solve this fiscal cliff issue called 'sequestration' for domestic cuts.”