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The Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky (The Fund) inspires and scales innovation and excellence in Kentucky’s public schools, resulting in a better future for all of our children. Here on our blog, we share about our work in a more in depth manner. Blog posts are written by staff members, teachers we work with, board members and others.

The Fund believes in unlocking the unique potential of every student by spreading innovative ideas, shining a spotlight on transforming teacher leadership, and driving sustainable change that will increase academic achievement for all students in Kentucky’s public education system.

Thank you for your consideration and visiting our blog. If you share in our vision of an innovative education culture, we welcome the opportunity to partner with you. Please visit our website at www.thefundky.org for more information.

Barbara Bellissimo

Monday, April 21, 2014

Doubling the Number of Teachers for Common Assignment Study

 By:  Renee Boss

As we near the end of the 2013-2014 academic calendar year, we are excited to announce that we will double the number of Kentucky teachers participating in the Common Assignment Study, a collaborative research study in which Kentucky and Colorado teachers create units of study for their students.  The expansion of our project comes on the heels of teachers and students wrapping up the second common unit this semester.  In addition to increasing the number of Kentucky and Colorado who participate, year 2 of the research study will involve teachers taking more of a leadership role in facilitating their colleague work groups during the summer workshops and throughout the 2014-2015 school year for ongoing face-to-face and virtual meetings.

Virtual and face-to-face meetings this school year allowed 22 teachers from Fayette and Kenton counties to collaborate with 22 teachers from Colorado.  The Common Core State Standards (known in Kentucky as the Kentucky Core Academic Standards and in Colorado as the Colorado Academic Standards) provided teachers a common set of standards to plan units of study for students in both states.  The goal is to engage students using essential questions and a thematic focus based on the Understanding by Design Framework for developing units of study.  Embedded within these units are Literacy Design Collaborative modules and other performance based assessments providing students an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the content and skills targeted for each unit.

Moving forward an additional 24 teachers from each state will join their colleagues in revising the units of study created this year.  This summer teachers from Washington, Simpson, and Fleming Counites will join Fayette and Kenton County teachers and teachers from multiple districts in Colorado for summer workshops hosted here in Kentucky.  The workshops will be co-facilitated by Kentucky and Colorado teachers and will include teachers analyzing samples of student work and making decisions about adjustments needed for the instructional units before they are taught again.

The collaboration between states allows Kentucky teachers and students to be connected based on the content they are learning and the skills they are acquiring. The crux of this project is teachers leading the work because this is the only way we will sustain and expand it in our states.  While the research study itself will end in the summer of 2016, the work in our states will continue to evolve and expand based on the needs of students in Kentucky and in Colorado. 

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