The following is a company-submitted press release and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of School Planning & Management magazine.

Kentucky to Receive Frank Newman Award for State Innovation

Denver — The Education Commission of the States is proud to announce Kentucky and its  Board of  Education as the 2015 recipient of the Frank Newman Award for State Innovation for its comprehensive work to dramatically increase college and career readiness in the Bluegrass State.

ECS Chair and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, along with Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, will present the award this summer at the ECS National Forum on Education Policy in Denver. Scheduled to accept the award are Roger L. Marcum, chair of the Kentucky Board of Education; Terry Holliday, the commonwealth’s commissioner of education; and Mary Ann Miller, policy advisor for the Commissioner’s Office of the Kentucky Department of Education. Kentucky’s ambitious initiative, Unbridled Learning: College/Career-Readiness for All, incorporates continuous improvement, identifies student learning gaps, emphasizes student achievement growth measures and holds districts accountable for improving student performance and providing quality learning opportunities. “The work being done in Kentucky to boost college and career readiness has been tremendous. The impact of the Unbridled Learning model is being felt not only in the commonwealth, but also across the nation. It is an honor for Education Commission of the States to recognize the years-long efforts of Kentucky and its Board of Education,” said Jeremy Anderson, president of Education Commission of the States.

Unbridled Learning has boosted student achievement in several ways, including:

  • More than 62 percent of all graduates in 2014 were considered ready to take credit-bearing college courses or a postsecondary training program, up from 34 percent in 2010.
  • The percentage of recent high school graduates who entered college in Kentucky and met statewide standards for readiness in English, math and reading increased from 54 percent in 2010-11 to more than 68 percent in 2012-13.

“On behalf of the Kentucky Board of Education, it is an honor to receive this award from the Education Commission of the States,” Roger L. Marcum said. “With the passage of Senate Bill 1 in 2009, Kentucky undertook significant reforms that focused on ensuring our students gain the knowledge and skills they will need to succeed in college, postsecondary training, the military or the workplace. “

This work has not been easy and has taken the coordinated effort of teachers, administrators, parents, business leaders and community members, but we are proud of the significant progress we have made toward our goal of having all students college and career ready when they graduate from high school.”

The ECS Frank Newman Award for State Innovation recognizes a state for any of the following:

  • Education improvement efforts that are replicable and hold valuable lessons for other states.
  • Bold and courageous policies, including existing approaches with evidence of significant impact on student achievement in the state.
  • Policies or programs that have bipartisan, broad-based support.

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