– Ruffled feathers could impact Kentucky’s attempt to revamp CATS
Kentucky has signed on to an effort from the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) to create a set of common education standards for all the states.
To date, 46 states are involved.
The current plan is for these new national standards to become the major “spine” of Kentucky’s education standards for the new test that will replace the now defunct CATS school assessments. Thus, issues about the national standards are of major importance to Kentucky’s education system. And, an issue is emerging.
The process of creating the new national standards has so far been conducted in secrecy. Aside from keeping the public in the dark, the process has excluded a number of national organizations with backgrounds in standards efforts and considerable influence with teachers. Some excluded groups include the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English.
Education Week now reports (subscription) that these groups are starting to push back about being excluded.
So far, the major participants in the NGA/CCSSO effort include the ACT, Incorporated (creator of the ACT college entrance test and other assessments), the College Board (creator of the SAT), and a group named “Achieve” that was formed several years ago to look at the academic standards issue.
In response to the new complaints about exclusion, former Kentucky Commissioner of Education and current CCSSO chief Gene Wilhoit promises that the next phase of the standards creation process will be opened up considerably.
So, it’s too early to determine if another education turf war is about to break out. However, it is obvious that Wilhoit and his counterpart at the NGA have some rather ruffled feathers to deal with going into the next phase of this process. Whether those feathers get smoothed or not remains a very interesting, and unanswered, question.