FRANKFORT – The Kentucky Department of Education is seeking feedback on its Unbridled Learning College/Career-Readiness for All Accountability Model. The model, which includes multiple measures for determining school success, has been in place since the 2011-12 school year.
Between now and August 20, an online survey will be available for stakeholder input on the various components of the system and how determinations of school and district success are made. The survey may be accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/UnbridledLearning. The feedback provided will inform the commissioner and the Kentucky Board of Education on any future action that may be taken regarding the accountability system.
“We’re making good on our word to take a look at the accountability model after the first three years,” said Education Commissioner Terry Holliday. “With so many elements coming together to form a balanced system, we realize that there may need to be some tweaks of the system to achieve its desired outcome, that is, college/career-readiness for all students.”
Senate Bill 1 (2009) charged the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) with creating and implementing a balanced statewide assessment and accountability system that that measures students’, schools’, and districts’ achievement of the goals set forth in KRS 158.645 and 158.6451, ensures compliance with the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, and ensures school accountability. The KBE sought the advice of the Office of Education Accountability; the School Curriculum, Assessment, and Accountability Council; the Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee, and the National Technical Advisory Panel on Assessment and Accountability in the development of the assessment program and system of accountability.
The Unbridled Learning Accountability Model includes multiple measures of success in three main areas which align to the board’s strategic priorities. Next-Generation Learners is the heart of the model and includes measures of student achievement, gap reduction, student academic growth, college/career-readiness and graduation rate.
Next-Generation Instructional Programs and Support includes Program Reviews in areas such as arts and humanities, practical living/career studies, writing and the K-3 program.
The Next-Generation Professionals component includes the number of effective teachers and principals as measured by Kentucky’s new Professional Growth and Effectiveness System; this element is scheduled to be included in accountability in the 2015-16 school year.
Kentucky’s accountability model also places importance on identifying and closing achievement gaps among groups of students and providing support for low-performing schools.
“There are multiple elements that determine whether a school is successful and we wanted to be sure those were reflected in our accountability system,” said Holliday. “The Unbridled Learning system provides in-depth information about every school and district, so that we can focus our resources on the areas of greatest need and challenge our students and educators to constantly improve toward the ultimate goal of college- and career-readiness.”
In 2012, the U.S. Department of Education granted Kentucky flexibility under the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind), so the state could use its comprehensive system of accountability for both state and federal purposes to ensure college/career-readiness for all students.
The Unbridled Learning College- and Career-Readiness for All Assessment and Accountability System replaced the Commonwealth Accountability and Testing System, which used student proficiency as the primary determination of schools’ success.