Kentucky Board of Education expected to act on science common core standards, approve “Districts of Innovation” status at Wednesday meeting

The Kentucky Board of Education meets Wednesday with several items of interest to local educators up for action.

The board will consider a second reading of proposed Kentucky academic (common core) science standards that include such issues as natural selection and evolution, weather and climate change, the environment and human impact, earth and space, animals and plants and planetary ecosystems.

According to a Kentucky Department of Education staff note, only a few changes have been made since the proposed standards were considered by the state board in April.

“In the version the KBE saw in April, the middle school performance expectations were published in grade bands rather than in discrete grades. KDE science consultants received a great number of public comments and questions regarding the middle school performance expectations. Feedback from both the review team and feedback from middle school teachers and curriculum developers overwhelmingly requested that KDE provide guidance on the distribution of the middle school performance expectations into discrete 6th, 7th and 8th grade level courses. In response to Kentucky feedback, Achieve has created a version of the NGSS that organizes standards into discrete 6th, 7th and 8th grade levels.”

A 76-page PFD document on the standards is available here:  http://portal.ksba.org/public/Meeting.aspx?PublicAgencyID=4388&PublicMeetingID=9156&AgencyTypeID=1

If the board adopts the new standards into a state regulation, a public hearing will be conducted followed by a legislative review process.

In May, 17 school systems sought approval to be the first to gain “Districts of Innovation” status. KDE staff are slated to recommend proposals for approval, starting with the 2013-14 school year.

Authorized by the Kentucky General Assembly in 2012, a “District of Innovation” designation would enable a school and/or school district to be freed from the requirements of some regulations and statutes as part of a local plan to enhance student learning.

Districts submitting applications are Cloverport Independent, Danville Independent, Eminence Independent, Fayette County, Gallatin County, Jackson Independent, Jefferson County, Jessamine County, Kenton County, Mason County, McCracken County, Montgomery County, Owensboro Independent, Owsley County, Taylor County, Trigg County, Woodford County.

Those approved may begin implementation this coming school year.

Other topics on the board agenda include an update on school funding for the 2013-14 school year, as well as results of this year’s TELLKentucky survey of certified school employees on workplace conditions.

The KBE meeting will be streamed live on the Internet via the KDE website.

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