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Governor signs bill to overhaul CATS test

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Legislation calls for development of means to measure individual achievement

By The Staff

Saying it is time to move to a new, stronger era of testing and accountability, Gov. Steve Beshear signed Senate Bill 1, which will overhaul the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System as part of the state’s long-term commitment to education reform.

“In 1990, the Kentucky Education Reform Act made it clear that Kentucky was no longer content with its schools and the quality of graduates those schools were producing,” Beshear said.

SB 1 mandates a move toward a new testing and accountability system that will, for the first time, measure individual student achievement over a period of time. That will allow the state to understand how Kentucky students are doing compared to each other and with students nationally.

SB 1 also mandates closer cooperation between the state’s schools and Kentucky colleges and universities in an attempt to lower the numbers of school children who need remediation.

A new exam system to replace CATS is to be in place for the 2011-2012 school year.

During that interim period, students will continue to complete annual assessments in the core-content areas of math, reading, science and social studies that are used to ensure accountability of individual schools and school districts. Writing portfolios also will be maintained, but will not be part of the testing process.