Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday unveiled his new strategic plan for the Kentucky Board of Education during the August 4th and 5th meeting. Here is the overview from his presentation of how that looks:
Row two makes it clear that the department’s focus is going to be on “next generation” issues.
That is reinforced by row three’s “Strategic Priorities.” All of these are “next generation” focused. The four main priorities will be on students (NextGen learners), teachers and local education leaders (NextGen Professionals), supporting systems such as improved data systems, and, finally, upgrade of schools and school district to the NextGen level, which includes a number of innovations and new assessment and accountability programs.
Dr. Holliday is a data-oriented man (hurray!), and the last row outlines some of the measures he is proposing to check on progress towards the NextGen priorities.
The first cell of the last row, which covers Proficiency, Growth, Gaps, Graduation, and College/Career Readiness are to be measurables in the new accountability system. These will look at a number of things like:
• ACT scores, which are now collected for all students,
• High school graduation rates using a much more accurate reporting system, as I mentioned yesterday,
• College success, which will consider enrollment rates and the amount of remediation needed by freshman as well as the survival rate at the end of the freshman year. This is almost all new data,
• Growth compared to other states in the various measurables,
and a very key item where accountability under our old CATS assessment failed miserably,
• Education gaps. These may include multiple measures such as white-black and white-Hispanic test score gaps along with gaps in graduation rates. The commissioner said he would like to try to collect this into one, final gap measure number for overall accountability. However, that could inadvertently wind up overlooking gap problems that pertain only to certain student subgroups, a problem the department wants to avoid and is still working on.
Some of the other items on this last row are still being developed, so I’ll hold off discussing them until more information is available.
Hopefully, the commissioner’s entire presentation on the plan will be made available in an audio from the department. There is a lot going on in this proposal. I certainly have not covered all of it, and I only glossed over some of the items I did discuss here.
Also, this entire plan is subject to discussion and alteration by the Kentucky Board of Education, but it looks like the new plan will wind up with fewer goals that can be more efficiently attacked with the resources available.
In fact, the recent department reorganization, which streamlined and reduced the major agencies, is planned to support this new strategic plan. Certainly, a move towards more efficiency is worthwhile and necessary in the current fiscal climate.