ERIC Number: ED425886
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Evolution of the Primary Program in Six Kentucky Schools.
Notes from the Field: Education Reform in Rural Kentucky, v6 n1 Sep 1998
As part of an 8-year study of education reform in rural Kentucky, this report examines the primary program that has evolved in six rural elementary schools as a result of the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA), which requires that grades K-3 be replaced by a nongraded program. This change aimed to eliminate failure in the first 2 years of schooling and prepare all children for the fourth grade by allowing them to progress at their own developmental rate. Seven mandates for this primary program included developmentally appropriate practices, multiage and multiability classrooms, continuous progress, authentic assessment, qualitative reporting to parents, professional teamwork, and positive parent involvement. This report discusses the relationship of the primary program to other KERA strands, the study methodology, and findings. Reform implementation was hindered by uneven time lines, lack of guidance from the state department, slow formation and organization of school councils, uncertainties about appropriate instructional practices, and KERA mandates for "critical attributes" of primary classrooms. Primary teachers at all study schools attempted to implement the attributes within the first 2 years upon receiving training and new materials, but program implementation was slowed due to over-emphasis on the critical attributes, legislative adjustments, lack of perceived fit to reforms in grades 4-12, and questions of efficacy. Program development at the local level was influenced by principal's leadership, teacher beliefs, school climate, and local response. Attaining program goals may require reinforcing the intent of the primary program and articulating how teachers can infuse challenging content into the primary program in ways that prepare students to meet state academic expectations. Case studies of four primary schools are included. (SAS)
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Appalachia Educational Lab., Charleston, WV.
Identifiers - Location: Kentucky
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Kentucky Education Reform Act 1990