When the first test scores from Kentucky’s new school assessment and accountability model are released next month, the public will get its first look at how student and school achievement is being measured under the Unbridled Learning system. For most Kentuckians, that first look will come in stories in local and statewide news media.
While the Kentucky Department of Education will be working directly with major media outlets and many small newspapers, the potential for the clearest explanations, community by community, will come from local school leaders sitting down with their reporters – in advance of the data release as well as when the school and district progress numbers go public.
KSBA has produced a video designed to assist superintendents, district assessment coordinators, school board members and others in talking with print and broadcast reporters and editors. The 22-minute video covers the following areas:
· Meetings in advance to explain the new state accountability system so that reporters understand the foundations of the system before they have to report on the numbers
· Briefings when the test scores are released, including discussion of what the KDE embargo on early releases means and what is not restricted
· Post-release actions that can help further educate the public both on the numbers and on the district’s actions to make improvements
To view the video, please visit the home page of the KSBA website (www.ksba.org) and click on the video section on the lower left-hand side of the page.
Additionally, the Department of Education is planning on a series of two webinars by KDE staff specifically to help reporters understand the new state accountability system. When those dates are set, KDE will be sharing that information with districts. KSBA suggests district officials contact local media outlets and encourage participation.