The Kentucky Department of Education board passed new regulations that require public school districts to set goals and submit data to the state to improve education opportunities for at-risk students. The programs offer at-risk students remedial education opportunities. KDE will now increase accountability for alternative school programs beginning next school year, said Lisa Gross, KDE spokeswoman.
“If you’ve got an alternative program that is not providing the kind of learning that a child would need to be prepared for whatever he or she wants to do once they graduate, even if they’re in a credit recovery program, then you need some help, you need some resources,” said Gross.
KDE has never required school districts to submit data on their alternative school programs. The state doesn’t even know how many programs or students there are, said Gross.
“We knew that there were varying degrees of efficiency and effectiveness out there and so it’s just taken a long time to get to the point where we felt that we could even get together a state regulation that would address some of these issues,” she said.
Test scores from students that attend on-campus programs are included in their school’s results. Under the new regulations districts will separate the results and this will track any progress those programs are making, said Gross.
The new regulations also require school boards to create goals for their programs, including standards for transitioning in and out of alternative schools.