Kentucky Department of Education Minority Student Achievement Initiative Using Virtual Cadre Course
The Kentucky Department Of Education, Commissioner Gene Wilhoit, announced at a 11 a.m. press conference yesterday a major initiative to reduce the learning achievement gap between WHITE and AFRICAN-AMERICAN students in Kentucky.
The beginning of this process includes 6 volunteer local school districts who are involved in piloting strategies to reduce this learning gap.
The KENTUCKY VIRTUAL HIGH SCHOOL has developed and is helping to manage an eCollege.com course shell that is being used as a way for these 6 district leaders and KDE to communicate, collaborate, and share documents virtually. Note this is not a virtual course but a virtual “cadre management tool”.
Additional Information on the Virtual Cadre Course can found by calling
502-564-2020 EXT 203,Mr. Bob Fortney or EXT 219, Linda Pittenger Project
Minority Achievement Pilot
KENTUCKY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Lisa Y. Gross
January 11, 2001
MINORITY ACHIEVEMENT TARGETED IN PILOT PROJECT
(FRANKFORT, Ky.) — Six school districts are working to improve minority (specifically African American) students’ achievement in a pilot project developed from recommendations of the Minority Student Achievement Task Force(MSATF). (FRANKFORT, Ky.) — Six school districts are working to improve minority (specifically African American) students’ achievement in a pilot project developed from recommendations of the Minority Student Achievement Task Force (MSATF).
The six districts, which volunteered to join the project, include more than 70 percent of the state’s total African American student population.
- Bardstown Independent (1,773 students; 24.5 percent African
- Fayette County (31,725 students; 23 percent African American)
- Hardin County (12,584 students; 15 percent African American)
- Jefferson County (89,801 students; 33 percent African American)
- Owensboro Independent (3,928 students; 17 percent African American)
- Paducah Independent (3,114 students; 48 percent African American)
“Even though all demographic groups of Kentucky children have shown
improvement in academic achievement over the past 10 years, the
achievement gap that existed 10 years ago is still with us,” said
Education Commissioner Gene Wilhoit. “That’s unacceptable, and the work of
the districts involved in this pilot program will help other districts
close that gap and reach proficiency. It will help real Kentucky children
do their best — remaining true to our conviction that all children can
learn at high levels.”
The six districts will implement strategies recommended by the task force,
either in new programs or existing ones.
- Bardstown Independent will focus on three of the ten goals (1, 6 and
8) and target all grade levels.
- Fayette County employs a SBDM/Equity Consultant, who provides
information to schools and councils about equity issues. All school
principals use disaggregated data to evaluate student performance.
- In Hardin County, the progress of two elementary schools with high
minority populations is being monitored. Grants will enable the schools to
test, identify and implement a reading program for all students in exiting
primary, 4th and 5th grades.
- Jefferson County set up a research project to identify schools with
achievement gaps, both high and low.
- Owensboro Independent will focus its efforts on the Owensboro 5-6
Center, then expand to the elementary, middle and high schools.
- Paducah Independent set up a Minority Improvement Committee,
including school staff, local community members and central office
The participating districts will keep in touch with each other and with
the department, and will compare strategies and results, in a special
on-line work group provided by the Kentucky Virtual High School.
The task force was formed in March, 2000, to develop specific strategies
for closing the achievement gap between white students and
African-American students. But its members recognized early in the process
that gaps also pertain to groups identified by gender, economics,
disabilities and other diverse learning needs. The task force developed
strategies centered on 10 goals:
- 1. All students in the state; regardless of race, gender, ethnic
background or socio-economic status, will have access to a rigorous
curriculum and have support systems in place to ensure success in a
2. Kentucky’s educational accountability system will include and
involve all stakeholders and provide incentives to assure minority
3. Minority students are recognized as high achieving learners.
4. Communities will have opportunities, motivations and tools to
develop and face issues of race and achievement.
5. All districts and schools will develop environments that result in
respect of cultural and socio-economic differences.
6. Students, teachers, counselors, administrators and parents must have
a belief in high expectations for all students.
7. The knowledge and skills of the teaching force will be expanded to
reach minority students in ways to best assure high achievement for all
8. Kentucky educators will effectively use data to improve educational
achievement for all students.
9. Educators will take ownership to assure that all students are
challenged and motivated to achieve at high levels.
10. All districts will show an annual increase in the diversity of
staff, and by 2004, staff in all school districts will be in proportion
with the number of minorities within the student population.
Lisa Y. Gross, Press Secretary
Office of Communications
KY Dept. of Education
500 Mero St.
Frankfort KY 40601