SREB and Kentucky


SREB and Kentucky

An overview of SREB programs and services and how Kentucky participates in them.

Appropriations from member states support core SREB services. SREB leverages the longstanding commitment of member states to attract external funding for additional programs and services that benefit member states. States may also choose to join targeted networks for additional fees.



Goals for Education | Monitoring State Policies

Monitoring and reporting to assist education leaders and policymakers as they shape public policy. SREB tracks trends and analyzes the progress of all 16 SREB states in each area in the Challenge to Lead 2020 Goals for Education and provides Legislative Reports that detail legislative and budget actions in each state.

SREB’s new Insights data tool allows leaders to explore actions across states, delve into a topic for a deeper understanding, or select a detailed state report. >

College and Career Readiness

Intensive work to help states implement essential components of SREB’s recommendations for statewide college and career readiness. These include assessing high school juniors to determine their progress toward the state’s readiness standards — and requiring those who are underprepared to transitional courses in 12th grade. >

Benchmarking Implementation of College- and Career-Readiness Standards 

Tracks and reports progress on implementation of college- and career-readiness standards and related reforms across 15 states. Based on this research, SREB staff support these states through reports, meetings and technical assistance.


In May 2017, SREB published Benchmarking State Implementation of College- and Career-Readiness Standards: Alignment of Instructional Materials.

In May 2016, SREB published Benchmarking State Implementation of College- and Career-Readiness Standards: Professional Learning.

These reports include a regional report that describes implementation across the states, highlights strong state efforts and recommends actions for improvement — plus 16 state profiles that describe each state’s efforts in detail, highlight notable actions and offer recommendations for moving forward.

The alignment of instructional materials report notes Kentucky’s strong efforts in the areas of supporting local efforts to use high-quality, standards-aligned instructional materials; and using data to continuously improve state efforts.

The professional learning report notes Kentucky’s strong efforts in the areas of establishing clear expectations for high-quality professional learning on state college- and career-readiness standards; providing  guidance and tools to help educators design and deliver professional learning and learn about the standards; providing technical assistance to support local professional learning efforts; offering professional learning to educators; and using data and accountability for continuous improvement.


Project staff presented information and facilitated dialogue on implementation of state college- and career-readiness standards and related reforms at SREB’s annual Meeting of Legislative and Governors’ Staff in October 2016. Two participants from Kentucky attended the meeting. 

Technical assistance

Project staff provided technical assistance to state education agency leaders in fall 2016. Project staff facilitated a meeting of leaders at the state Department of Education in three states, including Kentucky, on developing state policies to establish clear expectations for high-quality professional learning on standards.  


In 2016, SREB launched its Insights tool to help policymakers compare and understand state policy and practice. Users can explore data from these and other SREB reports. >

Career and Technical Education 

State Leaders Forum 

Kentucky attendees at SREB’s State Leaders Forum on policies for high-quality career and technical education in November 2016: 7

Kentucky Nursing Pathway

A coalition of Kentucky education and workforce partners worked with SREB to co-develop a seamless career pathway in nursing, one of the state’s high-demand fields. The 120-credit hour nursing pathway will allow Kentucky students to earn a series of stackable credentials and degrees that lead to nursing careers:

  • certified nursing assistant (CNA)
  • licensed practical nurse (LPN)
  • associate degree in nursing (ADN)
  • registered nurse (RN)
  • bachelor of science in nursing (BSN)

The pathway grew out of a fall 2015 meeting at which SREB convened policymakers, business leaders and education leaders around the shared goal of building strong career pathways leading from high school to rewarding careers in high-growth industries.

Kentucky Nursing Pathway Partners

  • Health Career Collaborative of Greater Louisville
  • Jefferson County Community and Technical College
  • Kentucky Board of Nursing
  • Kentucky Department of Education
  • Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet
  • Kentucky school districts and high schools
  • Spalding University
  • Southern Regional Education Board

Kentucky high schools will pilot the pathway in August 2017. >

    Educator Effectiveness

    Advises state and district leaders as they develop strategies to support the professional growth of teachers and principals. SREB serves as a technical advisor to state education agencies, conducts needs assessments and focus groups to help states plan and evaluate implementation, spotlights inspiring stories of local practice and convenes stakeholders at regional meetings.

    Technical Assistance

    SREB staff responded to three information requests from Kentucky stakeholders in the last 12 months. Constituents requested analysis related to teacher certification and licensure. 

    At various times throughout the year, SREB staff provided technical assistance to Kentucky Department of Education staff, who are leading implementation of the state’s educator evaluation system.

    In the last 12 months, SREB’s educator effectiveness team provided technical assistance, brokered expertise and provided policy and practice resources to Kentucky state legislators and their staff, state education agency staff, district administrators, principals and teachers.


    The Kentucky Department of Education sent representatives to the SREB’s Fifth Annual Educator Effectiveness Convening in March 2017. They participated in working sessions with peers from nine other SREB states.

    State lawmakers attended SREB’s Legislative Advisory Council Winter Meeting in December 2016. SREB staff presented to attendees on teacher preparation and teacher recruitment strategies. 

    A state team from Kentucky attended SREB’s Teacher Evaluation meeting, Transforming Adult School Culture, in November 2016. State teams included state agency leaders, state teacher association representatives, district superintendents, principals and classroom teachers.

    SREB staff presented to attendees of the SREB Meeting of Legislative and Governors’ Staff in October 2016.

    reports and data

    SREB produced several resources for Kentucky leaders during the last 12 months, including:

    Information Request Series, first published in January 2017, features our responses to SREB stakeholders’ questions. Topics covered include educator evaluation, teacher certification, and principal recruitment and retention incentives.

    SREB’s Insights tool, published in July 2016, catalogs state approaches to the design and implementation of educator evaluation systems.

    Educator Effectiveness Bill Tracker interactive tool, updated weekly, allows constituents to track legislative bills across eight areas, including teacher preparation, evaluation and professional learning.

    The bi-weekly Educator Effectiveness e-newsletter. >

    Teacher Preparation

    SREB’s Teacher Preparation Commission meets during 2016, 2017 and 2018 to develop practical and effective statewide recommendations to improve teacher preparation programs.

    The Commission published its first report, More than the Numbers: Teacher Preparation Data Systems State Policy and Recommendations, in September 2017. 

    Postsecondary Education


    SREB’s Commission on College Affordability in the South recommended policies and practices to keep college costs within reach of all students. In addition to the October 2016 report, policymakers can draw on individual state affordability profiles to better understand how these costs impact different family income levels and on a Promising State Policies and Practices report featuring cost-reduction strategies.

    Interstate Passport

    A framework to accelerate and streamline transfer of lower-division courses among institutions in different states. 

    Kentucky is one of three SREB states participating by reviewing learning outcomes for the Passport framework.

    High School Graduate Projections

    Kentucky registrants participated in a February 2017 webinar SREB co-hosted with the  Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education on WICHE’s Knocking at the College Door projections of high school graduates. Kate Akers, Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics executive director, was a speaker.

    State Services

    Connects policymakers with custom information, presentations and assistance on education issues as they arise. Leaders in member states are encouraged to contact SREB for data, analysis and advice.

    SREB staff visited Kentucky to meet with legislators and staff and attend committee meetings in 2017.

    Throughout 2016-17, legislators and legislative and governors’ staff from Kentucky requested assistance on topics including college affordability, charter schools, early childhood education, prekindergarten assessments, outcome-based higher education funding, education tax credits and K-12 education governance.


    SREB state services convenes legislative and governors’ staff from across the SREB region each fall to discuss topics that will likely be on agendas during upcoming legislative sessions. Kentucky staff were among those from 10 SREB states at the 2016 meeting.

    SREB’s Legislative Advisory Council meets twice annually, once in the winter and again at the annual Legislative Work Conference. The conference is for legislators designated by their state leadership to attend. >


    Curriculum and School Improvement

    Advanced Career

    A new approach to career and technical education that combines college-readiness academics with hands-on, project-based assignments focused on modern careers. Advanced Career helps prepare students for as many options as possible after high school: a high-value job, college, community college or technical school. 

    Kentucky was the lead state working with SREB to develop the AC Integrated Production Technologies and Informatics pathways. 

    Kentucky participation in AC programs, 2016-17:

    • Clean Energy Technology: 2 schools
    • Energy and Power: 2 schools
    • Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management: 1 school
    • Health Informatics: 1 school
    • Informatics: 5 schools
    • Integrated Production Technologies: 1 school
    • Teachers trained: 8 >

    Readiness Courses:
    Math Ready and Literacy Ready

    Courses specifically designed to help underprepared students succeed in the next phase of education. 

    Ready for college

    Courses to teach young adults the reading, writing and math skills they must have to succeed in college. Taught in an engaging way that leads students to learn and think independently, read for information and solve problems.

    Kentucky uses transitional courses, including an option for the SREB Readiness Courses.

    Ready for high school

    New courses for the transition from middle grades to high school. Underprepared students take the classes in eighth or ninth grade.

    Teachers from Kentucky participated in developing, field testing and reviewing the new courses. >

    High Schools That Work

    The nation’s largest school improvement program. HSTW strategies transform high schools into places where all students master complex academic and technical concepts. More than 1,150 schools in 30 states use the framework and its six design features and nine key practices to raise student achievement and graduation rates.

    HSTW State Network

    Member states select schools to receive services. The fee for state membership in the consortium covers several services and visits.

    Kentucky is a member of the High Schools That Work state network. Fourteen schools were active in 2015-16.

    HSTW Board Member: Laura Arnold, Associate Commissioner, Kentucky Department of Education

    HSTW State Coordinator: Linda Floyd, Kentucky Department of Education

    Contracts for Direct Support

    Schools, districts and states contract with SREB for targeted school improvement services such as onsite coaching, technical assistance and professional development. 

    Six Kentucky schools contracted for direct services in 2015-16. 
    SREB delivered 74 days of onsite coaching and six days of onsite staff development at the schools. >

    Making Middle Grades Work

    Engages state, district and school leaders in partnerships with teachers, students, parents and the community to raise student achievement in the middle grades. In addition to workshops and school visits, SREB links schools to the professional development resources they need. The network includes over 650 schools in 20 states.

    Kentucky is a member of the Making Middle Grades Work network, with 13 active schools in 2015-16. SREB delivered 128 days of onsite coaching and 26 days of onsite staff development to the schools. 

    Ten middle schools in Jefferson County were part of a collaborative effort of the Kentucky Department of Education, Jefferson County Public Schools and SREB to improve literacy and math instruction in the school district. >

    Technology Centers That Work

    Helps shared-time centers produce high-demand, high-wage graduates. SREB provides staff development, technical assistance, publications and assessment services. The network includes almost 200 sites in 18 states.

    Active centers in Kentucky in 2015-16: 23 >

    Counseling for Careers

    Awakens students to career goals and connects them to the high school and postsecondary programs of study to succeed in them. SREB offers workshops, materials and coaching for districts, schools and technology centers, which then involve teachers, counselors, administrators, parents and community partners.

    SREB is working with middle schools, high schools and technology centers in multiple Kentucky districts, with an emphasis on career exploration, career pathways and personalized education and career plans for all students.


    Professional Development
    For Teachers, Principals and Counselors

    College- and Career-Readiness Networking Conference

    Conference to share effective instructional strategies of the Literacy and Mathematics Design Collaborative frameworks. 

    Kentucky attendees at the July 2016 conference: 158 >

    High Schools That Work Staff Development Conference

    Annual conference for thousands of school leaders, teachers and counselors from middle grades, high schools and technology centers across the country.

    Kentucky attendees at the July 2016 conference: 138 >

    Learning-Centered Leadership Program

    Works with district, state and university partners to prepare aspiring principals and school leadership teams to lead school reform to ensure that students are ready for college and careers. This program offers training, guidance and technical assistance.

    Kentucky attendees at the 2017 Annual Leadership Forum: 4 >

    Literacy and Math Professional Development

    The Literacy Design Collaborative framework empowers language arts, science and social studies teachers to build meaningful assignments aligned to their state’s college- and career-readiness standards. Teachers take ownership of their professional growth, and students take ownership of their learning.  

    The Mathematics Design Collaborative teaching framework uses formative assessment lessons — part assessment, part instruction — to help teachers know whether their students understand material they have been taught. Teachers learn to adapt assignments and engage students so they understand the hows and whys of math.

    In the 2016-17 school year, SREB professional development for these literacy and math teaching strategies reached Kentucky educators in 22 schools.

    Kentucky teachers, principals and trainers who  participated in training and coaching: 198


    Athraa Alabudy of Olmsted Academy in Jefferson County Public Schools was honored in July 2017 with the Outstanding MDC Teacher Award.

    Kelly Hagan of Jefferson County Public Schools was honored by SREB in July 2016 with the Outstanding MDC Local Trainer Award. >

    Project-Based Learning in Career Pathway Courses

    Training model for teachers in high-skill career and technical education programs and career pathway academic courses. Academic and career and technical education teachers improve assignments and assessments by working with business and industry partners to develop projects that require students to apply college- and career-readiness and technical-academic standards.

    Number of Kentucky teachers and administrators in training or coaching in 2015-16: 111

    Number of participating schools in Kentucky during 2015-16: 27


    Postsecondary Education

    Academic Common Market

    A tuition-savings program for college students in SREB member states who want to pursue degrees not offered by in-state institutions. Students can enroll in out-of-state institutions that offer their degree program and pay the in-state tuition rates.

    During calendar year 2016, approximately 2,100 degree programs were available, 151 institutions participated and nearly 3,300 new students were certified for study.

    Number of Kentucky students who participated in ACM during 2016: 183

    ACM State Representative: Kathy Garrett, Senior Associate for Academic Program Management, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education >​

    Regional Contract Program

    Gives students the opportunity to earn a professional health degree from participating institutions in other states through in-state tuition rates at public institutions or reduced tuition at private institutions. More than 600 students participate each year.

    Participating students from Kentucky: 193

    Number of out-of-state students who enrolled in Kentucky programs in 2016-17: 1

    Residents of other states may contract for entry into University of Louisville in dentistry. This institution receives more than $20,000 annually from other SREB states. >

    Electronic Campus

    Partners with colleges and universities to give students access to more than 40,000 online courses and 4,100 online degree programs. All 16 SREB states participate in the Electronic Campus.​​

    Programs Kentucky institutions provide as of April 2017: 202

    Kentucky EC representative: Kathy Garrett, Senior Associate for Academic Program Management, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education >

    State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement 

    A nationwide system to open more high-quality distance education offerings for students and ease regulatory burden on institutions. SREB member states may opt in to offer distance education activities in other SARA states.

    Kentucky is an approved member of SARA.

    Kentucky SARA representative: Sara Levy, Director of Postsecondary Licensing, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education >

    Fact Book and Data Exchange

    Publishes one of the nation’s most comprehensive collections of comparative data through a cooperative effort of state postsecondary education agencies. Data are updated annually on topics including population demographics, college completion, tuition and fees, cost of attendance, state appropriations and faculty salaries. 

    Kentucky leaders receive the SREB Fact Book on Higher Education, as well as Kentucky: Featured Facts From the SREB Fact Book on Higher Education and the annual SREB State Data Exchange tables.

    Kentucky’s participating agency and SREB State Data Exchange Coordinator: Bethanie Butler, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education >

    Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing

    Helps expand and strengthen schools of nursing to reduce the critical shortage of nurse educators needed to educate the nation’s registered nurses. The Council surveys institutions for nursing education trends and shares online graduate nursing courses.

    As of June 2017, one Kentucky institution is a member (listed here with its representative to the Council):

    Spalding University: Patricia Spurr, Associate Dean and Chair >

    Doctoral Scholars Program

    Supports minority students to help them earn Ph.D.s, begin careers at colleges and universities, and diversify campus faculties. The SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program hosts the annual Institute on Teaching and Mentoring, the nation’s largest gathering of minority doctoral scholars, with more than 1,200 attendees.

    Scholars funded by Kentucky in 2016-17: 26
    2016 Institute attendees from Kentucky: 24

    Scholars Kentucky has supported since joining in 1993: 127

    Graduates since 1993: 85
    Graduates currently employed: 75
    Percent employed in education: 83

    Kentucky-supported Ph.D. students have attended these institutions since 1993:

    University of Kentucky
    University of Louisville
    Tulane University of Louisiana >

    Passport Project

    A new learning outcomes-based framework to accelerate and streamline transfer of student course credits among institutions in different states. SREB has joined other regional compacts in the Passport Project.

    Kentucky is one of three SREB states reviewing learning outcomes for the Passport framework.


    Interstate Cooperatives

    Educational Technology Cooperative

    Membership group of state K-12 and higher education coordinating and governing boards that represent more than 800 colleges and universities and 3,100 school districts in SREB states. The ETC focuses member agencies and state policymakers on using technology wisely, helps states understand technology issues, and forms an action agenda for effectively using technology in education. 

    Kentucky representatives attended the spring and summer webinars. Kentucky sent one attendee to the 2017 ETC annual meeting on teaching and Technology.

    Kentucky ETC representatives helped determine SREB’s 10 Critical Issues in Educational Technology and served on working groups for revisions. Frank Wells of the Kentucky Department of Education served as team leader for the technology infrastructure and security working group.

    In May 2017, Kentucky sent a team of educators and policymakers to the SREB and digiLEARN Personalized Learning Regional Meeting to learn about how to develop a comprehensive and sustainable effort to support personalized learning. Lisa Jones, system director of distance learning initiatives, Kentucky Community and Technical College System, participated with the Kentucky team and was a competency-based education panelist.

    Kentucky ETC representatives and nember agencies

    David Couch, Associate Commissioner, Office of Education Technology, Kentucky Department of Education

    Deepa Dubal, Director, Information Systems, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education >

    Technology Purchasing Savings

    Schools, universities and agencies in SREB states saved $3.3 million on over $33 million in technology purchases during fiscal year 2017 — double the FY2016 savings — through SREB’s participation in MHECtech discount agreements. Organizations in each of the 16 SREB states participated.

    Kentucky saved $96,452 on $975,239 in technology purchases in fiscal year 2017. >