Monday, March 15, 2010

Playing fast and loose with federal education money

The Kentucky School Boards Association reports that Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday will ask the Kentucky Board of Education to delay Kentucky Core Content Testing into late May. Holliday will do this even if the US Department of Education does not approve the inevitable late delivery of resulting test scores, which are used for No Child Left Behind accountability. It would also mean that, once again, schools will get scores back way too late to do anything intelligent with them to improve instructional programs next year.

Certainly, the problem of lost school days in some school systems is a serious problem, but we ran into the same issue last year and failed to learn a lesson from that.

Because no compensating plans were made after last year’s tests were delayed, our testing company still doesn’t have the slack to accommodate the testing shift and complete scoring on time.

It remains to be seen what the feds will do. If the feds decide that we should have planned better this year, one option would be to cut Kentucky’s federal education funds support. Given the condition of the state’s economy, that could really hurt.

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