Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

November 25, 2012

Education standards workshop set

Parents, teachers invited to learn about new rules

Mike James
The Independent

RUSSELL — The rules have changed for school accountability and so have the tests involved, which means parents have a lot to learn about what their children are learning.

A school group in Russell has organized a workshop for parents to find out about the new education standards and the tests their children will be taking from now on.

The Northeast Kentucky PTA is conducting the workshop from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Russell Middle School.

The workshop also is suitable for teachers, and teachers in the Russell district will be able to get professional development credit for attending, said Brenda Martin, president of the Russell-McDowell Intermediate PTA.

It is open to parents and teachers from surrounding districts as well.

It will explore the new common core standards which Kentucky schools have been implementing in the past year.

So far, 45 states have adopted the standards, which set uniform expectations in mathematics and English. Standards in other subjects are being developed.

Because the system has changed, it is important for parents to understand the new standards and testing, Martin said.

Parents should know how to interpret their children’s scores on the KPREP test, which replaces the Kentucky Core Content Tests under the former Commonwealth Accountability Testing System. That will aid them in determining what interventions might be necessary, Martin said.

The session also will discuss points of discussion parents may want to use during parent-teacher conferences, she said.

Parents should be ready to talk to teachers and principals if they have concerns about their children’s performance on tests. Some parents may not understand that in addition to changes in the tests, which are more demanding, there have been changes in the grading system, so scores may be lower than in previous years.

Presenters will include Martin, who also is president of the Northeast Kentucky District PTA, and state PTA officials.

MIKE JAMES can be reached at mjames@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2652.