Reflecting on Kentucky’s Story of Collaboration and Student Success

November 17, 2015 — Calling Kentucky ‘a story of innovation and collaboration’ among the state’s postsecondary education institutions, Dr. Terry Holliday, retired commissioner of education, attests that “staying the course” reaps benefits for students. After higher ed reached consensus on measures and benchmark levels for student performance that would indicate college readiness, Kentucky went from 30% of students meeting college readiness benchmarks in 2009, to 67% in 2016. Read more here from ‘Core of the Matter’ blog series from the Alliance for Excellent Education.

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New Poll Shows Strong, Sustained Support for High Standards

July 2, 2015 — The vast majority of Kentucky educators and parents continue to support the state’s higher standards, according to survey results recently released by the Kentucky Department of Education. Overall, 88 percent of the respondents gave the standards a “thumbs up” and did not indicate any changes were needed. About 12 percent of respondents said they would like to see some changes. Of those, 71 percent wanted to see one or more of the standards moved to a different grade. Nearly 4,000 people took part in the online survey; about half were teachers or retired teachers, about 20 percent were parents, 8 percent were administrators or school district staff, and about 8 percent represented business or the community at large. The remainder were students, professors, and state agency partners. The support is especially significant given that Kentucky is well ahead of all states in implementing higher standards and aligned tests.

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Higher Ed Leader on Kentucky College Readiness Gains

January 13, 2015
“The Art of the Possible: Kentucky College Readiness Gains Show Improvement Can Happen Fast”
Huffington Post

“Kentucky’s students, educators and policymakers are proving that rapid educational improvement is possible when an entire state focuses on what is really important — high academic standards. The rest of the country should take note of what’s happening in the Bluegrass State.

Earlier this year, a study by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) recognized Kentucky’s role as a national leader in the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. Now, new reports from the Kentucky Department of Education and the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education show the Commonwealth’s commitment to high standards and clear expectations is paying off with unprecedented gains in college and career readiness.

According to the reports, the percentage of Kentucky high-school graduates who met college readiness standards nearly doubled in the past five years and has climbed from 31.8 percent to 62.3 percent. Not surprisingly, this steep gain coincided with the state’s successful implementation of new K-12 standards that were established in partnership with higher education.”

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