Friday, March 4, 2016

How do Kentuckians define school success?

On the surface, the question sounds pretty simple, “How do we define school success?” But the answers are usually not that simple – one reason that our current Unbridled Learning Accountability model is so complex.
In the past, we’ve defined school success based solely on student achievement. Most recently, we’ve done so by also considering measures such as reduction in the achievement gap, graduation rate, college- and career-readiness rate, student growth, and learning opportunities and in mostly non-tested programs such as arts and humanities, world languages and practical living and career studies. We’ve also included a measure of teacher effectiveness – at least on paper.  The state board voted to delay including it in accountability for a year.
With the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), we have the opportunity once again to answer the question, “How do Kentuckians define school success?” as we work to design a new education accountability system that will be used as the basis to improve our schools and celebrate their educational progress. It is my goal to collaborate with legislators, educators, students and the public to produce a system that is fair, reliable, valid and easier to understand than what we currently have.
Soon, I will be embarking on an 11-stop listening tour across the state. I invite you to attend one or more of the sessions we are calling, “Education Town Hall Meetings: How does Kentucky define school success?” Below is a list with the dates and locations of the Town Hall Meetings which will run from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. local time.
During the meetings we will provide a brief overview of our current accountability model and what the feds are requiring be included in our new accountability system under ESSA. Then it will be up to you to let us know your thoughts.  We will be using these questions as a way to start the conversation:
What do you expect from our schools?
What school characteristics are most important?
How should we measure school success?
How do we ensure all schools are successful?
How should we celebrate school success?
This listening tour is your opportunity to provide input to Kentucky Department of Education staff and me on the design of the accountability system. Please plan on attending one of these Education Town Hall Meetings to let your voice be heard. 
EDUCATION TOWN HALL MEETINGS: How does Kentucky define school success?
All meetings are 6:30 – 8 p.m. local time.

Monday, March 14
The Blair Center @ Southside Elementary
728 Ginkgo Drive
Shelbyville, KY 
Tuesday, March 22
Campbellsville University – Gheens Recital Hall
210 University Drive
Campbellsville, KY
Tuesday, March 29
Daviess Co. High School Auditorium
4255 New Hartford Road
Owensboro, KY
Thursday, March 31
Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative
412 Roy Campbell Drive
Hazard, KY 
Thursday, April 7
Kentucky High School Athletic Association
2280 Executive Drive
Lexington, KY 
Monday, April 11
Southeast/Southcentral Educational Cooperative – Corbin Center
222 Corbin Center Drive
Corbin, KY
Monday, April 18
Kentucky Educational Development Corporation – Ashland Conference Center
904 Rose Road
Ashland, KY 
Thursday, April 21
Seneca High School Magnet Career Academy – Stickler Theatre
3510 Goldsmith Lane
Louisville, KY
Monday, April 25
Northern Kentucky Northern Kentucky University
James C. and Rachel M. Votruba Student Union – Ballroom
Kenton Drive
Highland Heights, KY 
Wednesday, April 27
GRREC Offices and Training Center
230 Technology Way
Bowling Green, KY
Thursday, April 28
Murray Middle School Auditorium
801 Main Street
Murray, KY 
For those who may not be able to attend a meeting in person, an online meeting will be offered at a later date. As a third alternative we have set up a special email,, for you to submit your thoughts. 
Your feedback on this critically important topic is essential. We must work together to shape a new accountability system that accurately measures the success of Kentucky’s students, schools and districts.
Hope to see you at one of the town halls!

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