KEA cadre to offer training on Kentucky’s new Core Academic Standards for Science A new KEA cadre will conduct training for KEA district and local associations, schools and school districts on the Kentucky Core Academic Standards for Science. The standards, which were adopted by the Kentucky Board of Education last June, are based on the Next Generation Science Standards developed by a consortium of 25 states, the National Science Teachers Association and other groups. The training is designed to help educators get comfortable with the new standards, and to equip them to advocate for necessary resources and appropriate implementation of the standards in their schools. Any KEA local or district association, school or school district may request the training by contacting a member of the cadre or the nearest KEA field office. KEA is able to offer the training free of charge because it is fully underwritten by a $45,000 grant from NEA to promote appropriate implementation of the standards. Twenty-one KEA members comprise the new science training cadre. They include elementary, middle and high school teachers from ten KEA district associations. Lisa Petrey-Kirk, Vice President of KEA and a member of the science standards training cadre, said, “Providing quality professional learning opportunities is what KEA is all about! As the preeminent voice for public education in Kentucky, it only makes sense that KEA would be first to offer quality professional learning, designed by teachers and led by teachers, around the new science standards.” Adoption of the new science standards is the latest in a series of reforms mandated by Senate Bill 1, which passed the Kentucky General Assembly in 2009. SB1 called for relevant, rigorous standards; aligned, meaningful assessments; highly effective teachers and school leadership; use of data to inform instructional policy; innovation; and school improvement. The law (codified as KRS 158.6453) specified, in part, that revisions to K-12 content standards should “result in fewer but more in-depth standards to facilitate mastery learning; communicate expectations more clearly and concisely to teachers, parents, students and citizens,” and “ensure that standards are aligned from elementary to high school to postsecondary education so that students can be successful at each education level.” Pennye Rogers, who is president of Todd County Education Association and teaches at Todd County Central High School, said she volunteered for the KEA training cadre because, “I feel strongly that all teachers should have access to quality training in order to understand and implement the new science standards.” She added, “Implementing the new standards will offer many opportunities for teachers to network with other teachers, within their own districts and across the state. Working together through the process of deconstructing the standards and vertical alignment, each teacher will see the importance of teaching the appropriate standards at the assigned grade level. If science content is missing at any grade level, it affects all grade levels after that. It truly is a collaborative process--each teacher really is valuable for scaffolded student learning.” Keri Meador, who teaches at Jefferson County’s Central High School Magnet Career Academy, volunteered for KEA’s training cadre because, “I wanted to deepen my knowledge of the NGSS language and implementation expectations, while taking on a leadership role in my school and district.” Please see ‘New KEA cadre’ on page 3 Second annual ‘Let’s TALK’ conference to be held June 16 - 17 in Louisville The second annual “Let’s TALK: Conversations about Effective Teaching and Learning” conference will be held June 16 and 17 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Louisville. The conference is co-sponsored by KEA; the Kentucky Department of Education; the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence; and the Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky, with funding provided by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. “Let’s TALK” is Kentucky’s only annual conference that is “primarily of teachers, by teachers and for teachers,” KEA President Stephanie Winkler said. “It is about putting classroom teachers at the center of instructional design.” Winkler added that “Let’s TALK” is a “one-of-a-kind chance for teachers and instructional assistants from across Kentucky to come together and share information about their classroom experiences; exchange ideas; and talk about what works best when it comes to student learning.” The conference is open to teachers and instructional The majority of the conference districts and some KEA locals assistants; instructional leaders attendees were teachers, brought groups of educators with teams of teachers or others teacher’s aides, paraprofessionals to Louisville for the event. who support teaching excellence; and instructional assistants. KEA’s Teaching Advocates postsecondary educators; Superintendents, policy-makers, Leading Kentucky (TALK) and pre-service teachers. KDE staff and guests from other committee, which includes Participants should expect states and education agencies 17 teacher members, created to gain practical strategies for also attended. Several school Please see ‘Registration’ on page 3 implementing the Kentucky Core Academic Standards in their classrooms, especially the newly-adopted science standards; learn to use CIITS and other technologies in their classrooms; gain a level of comfort with and appreciation for the new Professional Growth and Effectiveness System; and consider new leadership roles while remaining in the classroom. More than 300 Kentucky educators attended the inaugural “Let’s TALK” conference in 2013. Organizers selected 27 presentations from among the proposals submitted by Kentucky elementary, middle and high school classroom teachers. Sessions on National Board Certification were led by members More than 300 Kentucky educators attended the inaugural “Let’s TALK: Conversations about Effective Teaching and Learning” conference in 2013. of KEA’s Jump Start team.