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Kentucky’s Low Achieving Schools Gets Another Year of Federal Funds

Kentucky’s low-achieving schools are receiving another round of federal School Improvement Grant funding.

Forty-one Kentucky schools have been called persistently low-achieving under the No Child Left Behind standards, and they can use the federal SIG funds to implement models to help turn around student achievement. Only the first cohort, or group, of schools deemed low-achieving was guaranteed a full three years of federal support.

The $8.4 million announced this week will support nearly twelve schools state-wide in the second group of schools, including seven JCPS schools.

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Local News

Kentucky, Indiana Granted Waiver From No Child Left Behind

Kentucky and Indiana have been granted a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind standards.

NCLB has been criticized the past few years as having unreachable goals for education. Kentucky and Indiana were among the 11 states that applied for the waiver last fall and 28 more states have announced they plan to seek waiver later this year. In the first round ten states were granted a waiver.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was in Jefferson County in November to discuss the application with Education Commissioner Terry Holliday, who told WFPL last week he felt confident that Kentucky would be granted a waiver.

The state will now be charged with implementing its own accountability system, which the state was been preparing since passing Senate Bill 1 in 2009. The system provides a new model for school growth and will award schools that make a certain amount of progress, said Kentucky Department of Education’s Lisa Gross. The “Unbridled Learning Accountability Model” gives schools credit for meeting broader goals like being college-and-career ready.

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Frankfort Local News

Education Commissioner Says Kentucky Will Be Granted NCLB Waiver

Kentucky’s Commissioner of Education is confident the commonwealth will receive a waiver from No Child Left Behind standards.

Terry Holliday has been in direct talks with federal officials, and he says a big announcement confirming the waiver is coming next week.

“We’re in great shape. We’ve been talking with the Department of Education,” Holliday tells KPR. “We’re about 100 percent confident we’ll be granted a waiver. It’ll be announced next week.”

Kentucky is among 11 states that filed last year for relief from federal regulations. There was some uncertainly about how the White House would handle the waivers, since states had to promise to adopt President Obama’s education initiatives. But Holliday says there is no doubt Kentucky will be in line with federal regulations and qualify for a waiver. 

The waivers are necessary, the White House says, because Congress has been slow in updating or reforming federal education laws.

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Local News

Kentucky Submits Waiver Application for NCLB on Monday

Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday says he feels positive about Kentucky’s application to waive federal requirements under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.

Several states will be turning in applications Monday for exemptions from NCLB regulations that many consider outdated and unrealistic. Kentucky was one of the first states to announce its decision to ask the federal government to use its own accountability measures.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was in Louisville last week and met with Holliday to discuss the state’s application. Duncan expressed some concerns, including parts of NCLB that keep track of low-income and minority student performance, said Holliday.

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Local News

JCPS High Schools Make Gains, But District Goals Not Met

Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Donna Hargens says the state’s standardized test scores released Tuesday show both positive and negative results for the district.

Only 16.5 (22 of 133) percent of JCPS schools met 100 percent of goals designed under No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The goals are specific to each school and every goal must be met in order for a school to achieve the necessary progress under NCLB. But officials say the goals are partly based on school diversity. And if one group doesn’t meet its goal, the whole school fails.

Even though the district under-performed according to NCLB, there are some positive gains made, said Hargens.

“What I would say to parents is first of all every one of our schools has students that are scoring proficient and distinguished. We have many successful students at all of our schools. So any school, certainly, students can be successful at. But we’re not satisfied with the results and we want it to be better,” Hargens said.