Op-Ed

Plan will better prepare students for college, careers

This school year, I am excited about the implementation of the Kentucky Unbridled Learning — College/Career Readiness for ALL.

This plan is an outgrowth of 2009's Senate Bill 1 and the Governor's Transforming Education in Kentucky Task Force.

It has a goal of increasing the percentage of college or career-ready graduates of Kentucky high schools from the current 34 percent to 67 percent by 2015.

We have been communicating this goal and strategies to reach it for months. During this school year, we will begin to see the strategies implemented and begin to see if they yield results for our students.

During the school year, we are implementing the Kentucky Common Core Standards in English/language arts and mathematics.

On Aug. 1, we launched a software program, the Continuous Instructional Improvement Technology System, that will provide educators with full access to the standards and resources to support them.

This software and the resources were developed and aligned based on the work of more than 1,500 educators from Kentucky schools.

Also, we are now providing training and resources for educators in Kentucky that support the new assessments, which are based on the new standards.

Educators from across Kentucky worked on understanding the new end-of-course assessments in English II, algebra II, U.S. history and biology. Many teachers will receive training and support over the coming months to gain understanding of the new assessments in grades 3 to 8 and in high school courses.

Finally, a new accountability model goes into place this school year.

While we are hoping Kentucky will be granted flexibility to replace federal No Child Left Behind accountability with the Kentucky accountability model, we will be implementing the Kentucky model either way.

While the work ahead will be exhausting, and there are never enough resources to do it, Kentucky educators are dedicated to a singular focus of success for all children.

If you see an educator over the next few weeks, give him or her a pat on the back and share your wishes for much success in the year ahead.

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