Last month, the NC Academic Standards Review Commission heard a presentation from Rebecca Blessing, Communications Director and  Kentucky Core Academic Standards Product Manager, Kentucky Department of Education. Kentucky implemented Common Core Standards one year before North Carolina. The report she presented to our Commission dealt with the “Kentucky Core Academic Standards Challenge.

“The Kentucky Core Academic Standards Challenge is designed to challenge stakeholders to read the standards and then provide specific, actionable feedback on any particular standards with which they have an issue.  This is not intended to be a referendum on the standards. ONLY comments and actionable recommendations tied to specific standards will be considered.”

The standards in whole will not be questioned, just comments on particular standards will even be “considered.”  The “Conclusion” stated this process provides “naysayers with the opportunity to provide actionable feedback to quell their concerns about the standards and their perceived lack of input.” Does that sound a  little condescending?  Interesting the presenter did not say anything about the latest academic results in KY. I wonder if those comments would be “considered.”

Bluegrass Institute in Kentucky just released a report regarding the latest test results:
New EXPLORE test results dated January 29, 2015 from the fall administration of the current 2014-2015 school term quietly appeared in the Kentucky Department of Education’s Supplemental Data web page recently.

The EXPLORE Readiness Benchmarks are linked to actual college readiness data from the ACT college entrance test. In fact, the ACT, Inc. creates both EXPLORE and the ACT. Meeting EXPLORE Benchmarks provides a good indication that students as of the eighth grade are progressing on track to eventually be college ready.

Kentucky has administered EXPLORE to all eighth grade public school students since the 2006-07 school term. It is a stable assessment program. So, Bluegrass State percentages need to be on the increase.

But, that’s not happening.

Here is a graph showing the percentages of Kentucky students that met or exceeded the EXPLORE Benchmark Scores in English, math, reading and science over the years that Kentucky administered this assessment. The recent trend doesn’t look good.