In its latest Race to the Top report, the U.S. Dept. of Education says Kentucky is making progress in implementing reforms, but challenges persist.
The state has used much of the $17 million in federal dollars to prepare schools for the move to new Common Core standards. The dollars awarded through the Obama Administration’s education initiative have also funded an expansion of the state's AdvanceKentucky program, which seeks to make AP courses more accessible for underrepresented student groups.
But challenges remain as the state looks to assess how teachers are utilizing an online system meant to provide them with instructional materials.
"Although we believe Kentucky has made great progress, Kentucky - like every state - has both successes and challenges. So, as they've been rolling out these systems, it's new and people need professional development support to get acclimated to how you use it, where you go to find specific information," says Anne Whelan, director of the implementation support unit at the Education Department.
The latest progress reports track state’s efforts to implement reforms during 2013.
Not included in the $17 million figure is an additional $44 million Race to the Top Early Childhood Education grant Kentucky received last December.