Latest News

In Kentucky, Moving Beyond Dependence On Tests

I’ve driven the 37 miles from Lexington to see one of the most closely watched efforts in the country to change the way schools assess student learning. Principal Amy Swann and the district’s superintendent, Carmen Coleman, have completely overhauled their school’s educational philosophy, moving away from standardized tests toward an approach called performance-based assessment. … 

Kentucky was the first state in the nation to adopt the Common Core and the tests that align with it. This spring, the 1,700-student Danville district thinks it’s found a better way to teach the Core. … 

The entire curriculum at this school has been redesigned around interdisciplinary projects, which take several weeks to complete. … 

What makes the Danville experiment particularly noteworthy is that Kentucky was out ahead of the nation on adoption of the Common Core State Standards for English and math. Swann believes the standards are worthwhile, but thinks schools can do better than the tests that go with them.