Education experts will soon be examining applications from public schools districts across Kentucky that want to become “Districts of Innovation.”
The Kentucky Education Department says the designation allows the districts to seek exemption from some rules and regulations to try to improve student learning.
The idea is to let school districts change the way they teach and students learn with initiatives such as competency-based learning and a modified school schedule.
Seventeen districts submitted applications for the designation. Staff from the Education Department, the Education Professional Standards Board and the Regional Education Laboratory that serves Kentucky will review the applications in May and make recommendations to the Kentucky Board of Education. The board will select the districts June 5.
Districts could begin implementing plans as early as the coming school year.
Kentucky education officials say they've been assured that technical glitches that affected proficiency tests administered online have been resolved and testing is set to resume Monday.
The state Education Department suspended online testing Wednesday after problems were reported with slow or dropped connections experienced by students taking the computer based tests in more than two dozen districts.
The agency says the vendor, ACT Inc., reported the problem was with the system becoming overloaded and that the capacity has now been increased and no further problems are expected. The end-of-course tests are mandatory for students taking English II, algebra II, biology and U.S. history.
Kentucky officials said the ACT problem also affected students in Alabama and Ohio. Students in Indiana, Minnesota and Oklahoma, which also experienced technical problems, contract with different vendors.
Southcentral Kentucky Community College has chosen provost Phillip Neal as their new president. He'll replace the retiring Nathan Hodges on July 1st.
Community and Technical College System President Michael McCall says he's pleased the new president has a history with the school already and he expects a smooth transition. Neal has been provost of Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College since 2008.