Kentucky stands out among other Common Core adopters as the very first state to adopt them back in 2010. No more than two years later, in 2012, they began issuing the first Common Core tests. Since then, implementation has continued amid some light protesting that has had little effect on the success the state is seeing.
With the praise of Common Core as being the way America finally raises its education bar to meet that of the rest of the world, Kentucky quickly jumped on the opportunity. They found it representative of their years’ long struggle to eventually be able to compete with educational powerhouse states, like Minnesota and Massachusetts. Not two decades earlier, the Kentucky Education Reform Act had been introduced as a way to get the state on top in terms of educational achievement. It ended up failing, with Kentucky math and English standards awarded a D.
Then, in 2009, it was high time for yet another overhaul. This coincided with the release of Common Core talks, resulting in its early adoption even though the standards were not entirely complete. From that point on, it was all about rearranging the curriculum by introducing concepts at younger grade levels than before. While great for children just entering the school system, it proved to be challenging for the kids stuck in the middle grades, forcing them to master the basics as well as new concepts. In addition, it was the poorer ranked schools that felt the largest shift in curriculum. The best ranked saw it as only a minor alteration.
When the test results in 2012 were released, it was found that the harder standards resulted in poorer results, some proficiency levels even dropping. Supporters were quick to call this a growing pain. After all, it’s a new system with a new structure. States are expected to see a drop before they see a rise.
Nonetheless, this drop led to a bit of controversy from a public that was promised huge improvements. Though 2013 did see the promised increase, many saw it as not high enough. Opponent vocalization grew so loud that the Kentucky board of education in 2013 had to reaffirm their support of Common Core publicly. Even so, this failed to silence everyone. A year later, in 2014, many Kentucky House Republicans introduced House Bill 215 as a way to repeal both Common Core and science standards that were endorsed by many science groups. To the relief of many, the bill was never even voted on with the State Representative choosing to sweep it under the rug.
Currently, Kentucky students are showing improvement in every grade level and in every subject. Though they were slow to improve, the most recent results have shown massive improvement. While this won’t change the mind of every state, it does keep Kentucky happy with its choice as they slowly push toward their long-time goal.