The New Teacher Center (NTC) has worked with the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) since 2010 to assist the state's leaders in improving teaching conditions. In June 2010 Commissioner Terry Holliday convened the top education leaders across the state to form the TELL (Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning) Kentucky Coalition of Partners. In March of this year, NTC administered the first statewide TELL Kentucky Survey, which resulted in a record-breaking response rate (for first-time state surveys) of 80%! 1,245 schools out of 1,395 reached the minimum threshold of 50% response rate in order to have their own data for school improvement planning; 128 districts had every school in their district reach the minimum threshold response rate. All school, district and state results may be viewed at www.tellkentucky.org
But Kentucky has not stopped just because it set a record! It continues to race forward on all aspects related to this work. The state's leaders already have numerous policies either in place or in the planning stages. For example:
* State Legislation: Persistently Low-Performing Schools/
Kentucky's definitions, processes and options for school improvement are based on the language contained in House Bill 176, legislation related to persistently low-performing schools passed by the 2010 General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Steve Beshear. Included in this statute are policies requiring the use of teaching conditions survey data in the assessments of the effectiveness of school administrators and School-Based Decision Making Councils.
In August 2011, NTC provided "Train-the-Trainer" sessions for stakeholders in the state's Persistently Low-Performing Schools. The training centered on the use of each school's own TELL Kentucky data and other data artifacts in designing improvement plans for the upcoming school year.
* Kentucky Board of Education: Policy on School
On June 8, 2011, in its discussion of a new state new regulation on school and district accountability recognition and support, the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) voted to direct the KDE to include the use of the TELL data in the current development of the new accountability model to classify schools and districts.
* Kentucky Department of Education: Using TELL Data
The KDE has informed the KBE in June that it is also working on:
- Including the use of TELL data in the current redesign of the annual school improvement plans - this work should be completed by the winter of 2011.
- This year's mandatory 3-hour training for School-Based Decision Making Councils has been developed by KDE and focuses on the use of the data by each school's council, which in Kentucky, have much statutory authority over decision-making and leadership.
* The Kentucky Board of Education: Developing Policy
At its June 2011 meeting, NTC facilitated a two-hour work session with the Board to review TELL findings and discuss opportunities for policy action. Among the possible items for future action:
Sustaining TELL Kentucky in the state budget.
- Possible use of the data in the instruments being developed for evaluation of administrators and the revised school improvement plan template.
- Development of state standards for teaching conditions.
Additional TELL Kentucky Resources:
The TELL Kentucky Coalition of Partners signed a Memorandum of Understanding in September 2010, led by Governor Beshear (seated) that established the central focus on improving teaching and learning conditions and the use of the TELL Kentucky Survey to provide data for school improvement planning.