Kentucky United We Learn Council

Kentucky United We Learn Council

Published: 7/16/2024 2:57 PM

​​​​​​​​​​​​​Kentucky United We Learn Council Header​​​​​​​

United We Learn is the vision for the future of public education in Kentucky. The Kentucky Department of Education has brought together a diverse set of stakeholders working and learning together in an inclusive and empathetic way. These stakeholders make up the Kentucky United We Learn Council. Members are exploring how we create the future of education by advancing three connected ideas: vibrant learning experiences for every student; encouraging innovation in assessment and accountability; and collaborating closely with communities. This effort is supported with funds from the Competitive Grants for State Assessments through the U.S. Department of Education.​ ​

As the body that recommends new policy and practice or recommends changes to existing policy and practice, the Kentucky United We Learn Council is establishing structures and systems that are consistent with its purpose of supporting inclusive state and local co-creation and facilitating local ownership of solutions that will support the three big ideas of United We Learn. The council coordinates standing committees that meet regularly to advance work on their key missions and deliverables. The council partners with KDE and the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) to advance the work laid out in the United We Learn report. ​

All meetings are available as virtual meetings and are open to the public.​​​ Agendas, notes and recordings can be found on the committee's webpage.​

​Council Moonshot and Roadmap

"To build a prosperous Kentucky, we will launch an accountability system that is meaningful and useful to all our learners."

Council Moonshot and Roadmap​​​

During the April 2024 Kentucky United We Learn Council convening, a timeline outlining key milestones  for achieving the moonshot was presented. This timeline, shown above, is a living document expected to evolve as feedback on the accountability prototypes is received and incorporated into the council’s work.

The graphic (version 2.0) includes milestones from summer 2024 to summer 2026:
  1. Summer 2024: “Prototypes Developed” – This milestone is depicted within a circle formed ​by three arrows labeled Share, Engage and Revise, indicating a continuous cycle.
  2. Summer 2024: “Legislative Awareness”
  3. Fall 2024: "Study Phase" – This milestone is depicted within a circle formed by three arrows labeled KDE, Council and Field, indicating a continuous cycle.
  4. Fall 2024: "Council Recommends Accountability Model to the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE)"
  5. Spring 2025: "Council and KDE Recommend Model to the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE)"
  6. Summer - Fall 2025: "Engage Interim Education Committee"
  7. ​Summer 2026: Goal: “Approved Reimagined Accountability System”

Vibrant Learning Experiences Definition

"Learning that matters to students."

In partnership with families and communities, students are agents of their own learning, engaged in relevant, authentic and joyful learning opportunities. Vibrant learning honors students' cultural wealth, gifts and interests. Vibrant learning culminates in the application of knowledge and skills demonstrated through personalized products.​​

Structure of the Kentucky United We Learn Council ​​

The council is composed of three committees: 

  • Creating Vibrant Learning Experiences: Support local communities to transform the student learning experience. Learn from what is happening in the field, especially related to: Deeper Learning, Project-Based Learning and Local Laboratories of Learning.
  • Accelerating Innovation: Support scaling of innovations within and across communities through changes in assessment and accountability. 
  • Building a Bold New Future with Communities: Build the policy framework that is responsive to the needs coming from communities that support a bold, new future for education.


Process of the Kentucky United We Learn Council 

The council is committed to following four innovative habits:

  • Inclusion: Bringing in diverse voices, building a sense of belonging. 
  • Empathy: Understanding the views, feelings and needs of others. 
  • Co-Creation: Working together to create and/or implement a solution to a challenge. 
  • Reciprocity: ​Exchanging or sharing power/privileges for mutual benefit.​

The Kentucky United We Learn Council was established to give recommendations to the Kentucky education commissioner and the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE). As such, a process has been established to illustrate how work will flow.

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) will work INCLUSIVELY with schools, districts, partners and all members of the Kentucky United We Learn Council (council) to learn about local innovations happening in schools. Those innovations will be shared with the council to gain an understanding of the efforts. The council will work with members of KDE to CO-CREATE or amend current policies or practices that support the innovative work and accelerate innovation. The recommended new or amended policies or practices will be presented to the KBE and, if appropriate, to legislators. These entities will work together through RECIPROCITY to finalize and approve such policies and practices. The KDE will work to accelerate implementation as needed.

Throughout this process, all parties will come together to listen with an EMPATHETIC ear to ensure the best decisions are being made to serve all of Kentucky's students.

​​Kentucky United We Learn Council Process Map. The process is outlined in the text above. ​​

​​Karen Dodd
Office of the Commissioner of Education
Strategic Planning and Research
300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-2102 Ext. 4700
Fax (502) 564-7749

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