3:19pm

Mon January 2, 2012
Education

Education Assessment Changes Still Pending

Major changes to Kentucky’s education standards that were implemented last year will be tested this spring and certain regulations that are still awaiting approval from the legislature could play a role in testing some children with learning disadvantages. Last year the Kentucky Department of Education approved several regulations that would align the commonwealth with most other states and make the assessments more reliable. One regulation blocks school-appointed readers from reading comprehension tests to certain learning disadvantaged students.

But the change will likely give educators a more accurate assessment, and may just take time for students to adjust, said Chris Arrington, a Jefferson County Public Schools teacher who may have some students affected by the change.

“It’s okay to fail. It’s okay to mess up. I just want you to try your best and I’m going to be proud of you because you went in there and you tried your best. It’s a shift in thinking I think for them,” he said.

The changes this year have shifted how Kentucky educators teach to the state assessment tests. The state used to provide specific key words or items that would likely be on the test, but now it provides a more general concept where student’s must apply what they’ve learned, he said.

Certain student’s with learning disabilities in Kentucky may not be provided with readers in this spring’s test, but teachers should not let that hinder the main objective, he said.

“I’m going to expect you to read. And when you do you’re going to feel pretty good about it,” he said.

The Administrative Regulations Review Subcommittee must now approve the changes and a public hearing is scheduled for later this month. If approved, the regulations would affect spring testing.

New testing this spring moves education in the state towards testing a student’s college and career readiness.