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Kentucky Leads New Common Core Standards Initiative

Kentucky has been selected to model a new initiative that helps implement the common core state education standards.Kentucky was the first state to adopt the standards, which look to unify what students learn (map shows current states that have adopted the standards). Now, the Kentucky Department of Education will help develop a framework for providing professional development at the state level, said Joellen Killion, senior advisor with the organization Learning Forward. It’s a non-profit that plans to work with seven states over the next two years.Reaching out to all teachers is difficult, but information can spread though state education departments, she said.“What we can do is to work with the department of education in how it thinks about its role and then work closely in several school systems in Kentucky simultaneously to have them serve as models,” Killion said.Essentially, the idea is to educate leaders and let it trickle down, she said.“The state's policies, practices, and investments in professional learning often determine the quality and access to professional learning that teachers have across the state,” said Killion.The Kentucky Department of Education will help create the framework and strategies available to all participating education departments, but each state will have different priorities; and what works for one may not work for another, which is why the six other states will participate in conversations throughout the process, she said.