Commissioner of Education: Terry Holliday
Primary Point of Contact: Sean Elkins — Regional Instructional Specialist for Science
The following summarizes content from the state's application for Lead State Partner in 2011.
Partner Organizations: CPE STEM Task Force, the Partnership Institute for Math and Science Education Reform, SkyTeach, Center for Integrative Natural Science and Mathematics, Kentucky Science Teachers Association, Kentucky Academy of Science, Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation/AdvanceKY, Kentucky Environmental Education Council.
Background: Kentucky requires that all students take three credits of science which must include lab-based investigation experiences and the content strands of biological science, physical science, earth and space science, and unifying concepts. Kentucky’s science teaching standards are contained in the Program of Studies (POS) standards and their assessment subset, the Core Content for Assessment (CCA). The POS sets the minimum content requirement for graduation of a Kentucky high school, whereas the CCA, a subset of the POS, outlines the content that is covered on the Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP), administered in grades 4, 7, and through high school end of course assessments. The K–3 and high school standards are arranged in grade bands where grades 4–8 are arranged in discrete grades. While there are state standards in place, Kentucky is a local control state, and therefore districts are able to extend local standards beyond the POS standards. However, because of the Kentucky Core Content Test, districts must ensure that the CCA are covered. Kentucky is anxious to adopt new standards since the last standards revision should have occurred by December 2010; however was postponed due to the impending development of the NGSS.
Commitment: Kentucky has shown a strong commitment to standards based learning through its adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and its position as both a participating state in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and an advisory state in SMARTER Balanced. Kentucky has already replaced both its Program of Studies and its Core Content for Assessment standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics in favor of the CCSS, and anticipates that it will do the same for science beginning in the 2013–14 school year with the anticipated adoption of the NGSS. Since Kentucky is passed its state deadline for adopting new science standards due to the postponement for the NGSS, it highlights the sense of urgency and a deep commitment to the new science standards.
STEM Involvement: The Common Core State Standards and the Council on Postsecondary Education STEM Task Force recommendations have steered Kentucky’s STEM program development, specifically in designing and refining state science leadership networks. These networks have focused mostly on content and pedagogy, and will be extremely useful in assisting with the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards. Additionally, models in place for implementing the CCSS in English Language Arts and Mathematics will be expanded and serve as forums for science implementation. Kentucky expects the creation of eight regional teacher networks to train an elementary, middle and high school science teacher from each district to assist with local implementation.
Alliances and Infrastructure: Kentucky has several alliances and partnerships in place which will assist through many different stages with the implementation of the NGSS. Some of these organizations include: CPE STEM Task Force, MSP Science Leadership Networks, Partnership Institute for math and Science Education Reform (PIMSER), SkyTeach, Center for Integrative Natural Science and Mathematics at Northern Kentucky University (CINSAM), Kentucky Science Teachers Association, Kentucky Academy of Science, Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation/AdvanceKY, Kentucky Environmental Education Council, and the 19 education cooperatives regional offices.
Check back soon for more information on Kentucky's state team and implementation plans