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Kentucky Policy Profile

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Teaching Standards and Leadership Standards

Teaching Standards

Is working with and meeting the needs of students with disabilities addressed in state teaching standards?

The Kentucky Teacher Standards do not specifically address the needs of diverse learners or students with disabilities. However, they establish the expectations that teachers consistently use appropriate and responsive instructional strategies that address the needs of all students.

Source: Kentucky Teacher Standards

School Leadership Standards

Is knowledge of working with students with disabilities included in leader standards?

Kentucky adopted the Educational Leadership Policy Standards: ISLLC 2008. These nationally recognized standards establish a common set of knowledge, skills and attributes expected of school leaders, and serve as the foundation for the preparation and appraisal of school leaders. The standards establish the expectation that “an education leader promotes the success of every student.” Kentucky also utilizes the Dispositions, Dimensions and Functions for School Leaders (cross-walked with ISLLC) in the redesign of all principal programs.


Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB), Kentucky Performance Standards

Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC), Education Leadership Policy Standards

Kentucky EPSB, Dispositions, Dimensions and Functions for School Leaders

Teacher and Principal Preparation

Teacher Preparation – Program Approval/Accreditation

Required course work in teaching students with disabilities/diverse learners

Kentucky state law requires the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) to establish standards for teacher preparation programs. These standards shall reflect national standards and address, among other things, methodologies to meet diverse educational needs of all students.

Source: Kentucky Revised Statues, Title XIII, Chapter 161, School Employees§161.028(1)(b)(4)

Clinical time in diverse settings/teaching special populations

Accreditation for educator preparation programs may include accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), which requires field experience and clinical practice. NCATE Standard 3 states that “The unit and its school partners design, implement and evaluate field experiences and clinical practice so that teacher candidates and other school personnel develop and demonstrate the knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary to help all students learn.”

Further, prior to admission to student teaching, each Kentucky teacher preparation institution must ensure that every teacher candidate completes a minimum of 200 clock hours of field experiences in a variety of P-12 school settings which allow the candidate to participate in “engagement with diverse populations of students,” including “students with disabilities.”

Source: 16 Kentucky Administrative Regulations (KAR) 5:010 and 5:040

Teacher Preparation – Accountability

Quality of teacher preparation programs

Kentucky collects some program-specific, objective data and reports these data on the state’s website. The EPSB’s Teacher Preparation Dashboard and the Kentucky Educator Preparation Report Card provide information on each institution’s selectivity of candidates, the performance of candidates on required new teacher assessments, the percentage of candidates who achieve full certification, and the results of surveys of candidates and their supervisors regarding the effectiveness of the candidate’s preparation.


2012 State Teacher Policy Yearbook: Improving Teacher Preparation in Kentucky,

National Council on Teacher Quality

Principal Preparation – Program Approval/Accreditation

Required course work in leading a school/district that serves special education students/diverse learners

Kentucky does not require specific course work in leading a school/district that serves students with disabilities or diverse learners. But the state does require all principal preparation programs to sign collaborative agreements with school districts to provide all candidates with “high quality field experiences” that “expose the candidate to diverse student populations and school environments.” In addition, programs must employ “rigorous formative and summative evaluations of each candidate’s knowledge and skills to advocate, nurture, and sustain a school culture that promotes and supports high levels of learning for all students.”

Source: 16 KAR 3:050

Principal Preparation – Accountability

Are programs reviewed based on outcomes of graduates’ success? Can school principals be linked back to institutions of higher education and preparation programs?

Pursuant to state law, the EPSB must “set standards for, approve, and evaluate college, university, and school district programs for the preparation of teachers and other professional school personnel.” The Kentucky Educator Preparation Program Report Card provides some information on the quality of administrator preparation programs, including demographic and candidate assessment data.

Source: KRS 161.028

Teacher and Principal Certification/Licensure

Teacher Certification/Licensure – Structure

Is a specific certificate, license or endorsement related to special education required?

Kentucky does not distinguish between elementary and secondary special education teachers. The state offers a stand-alone K-12 special education certificate that does not require a general education certificate. The special education certificate may be differentiated among the following specialty areas: Communication Disorders, Visually Impaired, Moderate and Severe Disabilities, Hearing Impaired, Hearing Impaired with Sign Proficiency, and Learning and Behavioral Disorders.


National Council on Teacher Quality, 2012 State Teacher Policy Yearbook: Improving Teacher Preparation in Kentucky

16 KAR 2:010

16 KAR 2:050

16 KAR 4:020

Teacher Certification – Examination

Does the state require teachers to pass a basic skills exam for initial certification? What are the pass rates on the exams? Does the state require Praxis II or more pedagogical assessment for licensure? Does it include anything about teaching diverse learners or special populations?

Prior to admission to a teacher education program, students must pass the Praxis I tests in mathematics, reading and writing. Individuals who have completed a traditional teacher preparation program must successfully complete the Praxis II tests as part of the educator certification process. The Principles of Learning and Teaching exam is required for certification in elementary education (K-6), middle school education (5-9), and secondary education (7-12). Additionally, all other areas such as Art, Health, Music, Physical Education, etc., require the Principles of Learning and Teaching exam.


Kentucky Test Requirements, ETS

16 KAR 5:020

Teacher Certification/Licensure – Requirements

Is professional development around working with special populations required to move from initial to a professional license?

Within the requirements of the state’s mandatory Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP) for beginning teachers, participants must demonstrate their ability to work with special populations and collaborate to address special learning needs. Upon completion of the internship/induction period, a teacher is awarded a Professional Teacher Certificate valid for four years.


16 KAR 2:010

16 KAR 7:010

Principal Certification/Licensure – Requirements

Is prior teaching experience required to become a principal and/or a superintendent? Is specific coursework or other evidence required around working with special populations?

Kentucky requires school leaders to obtain a master’s degree, have prior teaching experience and complete a state-approved preparation program.

Principals: Candidates must complete an approved program of preparation, have three years of full-time teaching experience, hold a master’s degree in education and complete the one-year Kentucky Principal Internship Program (KPIP).

Superintendents: Candidates must complete an approved program of preparation, have the appropriate requirements for certification, and have at least two years of approved experience. Other administrative experience may be substituted for this requirement with the approval of the EPSB. Candidates must also hold a valid statement of eligibility for a Kentucky teaching certificate, a master’s degree and complete principal preparation levels I and II.


Kentucky Redesigned Principal Preparation Program Guidelines

16 KAR 3:050

16 KAR 6:030

16 KAR 3:010

Operating in the Dark, George W. Bush Institute

Teacher and Principal Induction

Teacher Induction

Is mentoring required for all new teachers and for how many years? If so, do program guidelines/requirements specifically address teaching diverse learners?

State law requires all new teachers and out-of-state teachers with less than two years of successful teaching experience to take part in the one-year Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP). KTIP includes mentoring and a comprehensive assessment prior to initial certification. The assessment consists of three required components that are met upon successful completion of twelve tasks of the Teacher Performance Assessment. The one-year internship incorporates a beginning teacher committee comprised of teachers, site-based administrators and teacher educators assigned by regional universities all who are focused on supporting and assessing teacher growth throughout the year. Interns who are unsuccessful their first year may have an additional year to complete the internship.


New Teacher Center, Review of State Policies on Teacher Induction

KRS 161.030(5)

KAR 7:010

Principal Induction

Is coaching/mentoring required for all new principals/administrators/ superintendents and for how many years? If so, do program guidelines/requirements specifically serving diverse learners?

State law previously required all new principals and assistant principals with less than two years of service to complete the Kentucky Principal Internship Program for one year. However, the program was suspended through June 2014 due to budgetary constraints and lack of available funds.

New state regulations require preparation programs to develop a mentoring plan with superintendent candidates. In addition, Superintendent Preparation Program Guidelines specify the requirements of the mentoring plan.


New Teacher Center, Review of State Policies on Teacher Induction


KRS 161.027(5)

16 KAR 7:010

16 KAR 3:010

Teacher and Principal Professional Development Standards

Teacher Professional Development Standards

Does the state have professional development standards for teacher PD?

Kentucky adopted the Learning Forward Professional Learning Standards in 2013. In addition, Kentucky Administrative Regulations establish procedures for continuing education for certificate renewal and require each school and district to craft a professional development plan that is incorporated into their school/district improvement plan.


16 KAR 8:030

704 KAR 3:035

Principal Professional Development Standards

Does the state have professional development standards for leadership PD?

Kentucky adopted the Learning Forward Professional Learning Standards in 2013.