Senate Bill 1 from the 2009 Regular Legislative Session directed a number of very important and dramatic changes to Kentucky’s public education system. The bill cancelled our dubious CATS assessments and directed the Kentucky Department of Education and its governing board to first come up with better education standards and then to use those better standards to craft new state assessments. The bill told educators to create what we really wanted: a system that would educate our kids for college and careers.
Senate Bill 1 broke new ground in another important area – the legislation firmly mandated that public school educators and the state’s college community would work together to craft the new standards and the assessment program. The level of cooperation between the K to 12 group and college staff required by the bill was unprecedented.
To insure that the postsecondary community got the message and played their role well, Senate Bill 1 also required the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) – the state’s college governance agency – to insure that word about the changes got out to college faculty.
Thus came to be the CPE’s “Senate Bill 1 Information Workshops.” These are being held for college faculty around the state, and I had the great pleasure to attend the February 24, 2011 session in Covington, Kentucky.
The workshop included a series of highly informative sessions about the law itself, why it is needed (because college remediation rates remain far too high) and the current status of the education standards development process.
There were informative breakout sessions on the new Common Core State Standards for math and English language arts that Kentucky adopted from the national common core effort, and a brief discussion about where we are in the process of developing the new assessments.
Overall, it was a very informative day – one I think would benefit college educators from any discipline.
And, that leads to the one disappointment of the day.
Outside of a handful of college instructors from other disciplines, the meeting was largely attended by faculty from education schools, only.
The CPE needs to work harder to get the message out that these workshops are for all faculty members and that it would be wise for at least one representative from each of the major disciplines on each campus to attend one of these sessions.
You see, these are indeed two-way workshops. The people running them are looking for feedback to help make Kentucky’s latest attempt at major public school improvement work far more effectively. That is a lot more likely to happen if non-ed school staff show up and add their good insight and ideas about what we can do to provide them with better prepared students to enter their college classrooms.
Future workshop dates and locations are listed below:
March 4, 2011—Georgetown
March 25, 2011—Hopkinsville
April 8, 2011–Webinar
April 21, 2011—Bowling Green
August 21, 2011—Webinar
For more information or to register, go to http://kycorestandards.org.
Actually, I think that K to 12 personnel would also benefit and should consider attending these meetings, or logging in to one of the webinars, as well.