However, this also serves to keep the page counts low for each grade and standard, and this seems like a practical and effective way for teachers to use the page for lesson planning. The CCD puts a great deal of information on a relatively small matrix, including Big Ideas, Academic Expectations, Understandings, Skills and Concepts, and Related Core Content for Assessment. It is a logical and useful organization of the information, but it sometimes seems a bit difficult to hone in on an exact specification because there is so much "going on" in the tables (KDE, Combined Curriculum Document Reading-End of Primary, 2006).
The Kentucky School Laws Annotated (Kentucky General Assembly, 2006) is a different type of resource for school employees. It is organized as a codified legal document with section numbers, paragraph indicators, and other marking utilities. It addresses school funding, breakfast programs, and teacher compensation. It also cites rules for textbook purchases, IEPs, teacher tenure and retirement, and a host of other topics. It is definitely the place to go to determine if a professional decision meets the standards of conduct expected by the state of its teachers. It lists extremely specific requirements which are easy to find in the Web version by using the handy "Search" function.
The Kentucky Teacher Standards (KDE, 2007) are a well-organized, easy-to-use presentation that differentiates between novices and veterans in two-column chart. Standards are organized by area. Each states in clear, precise language exactly what each teacher is expected to do in instruction, ensuring a positive learning climate, assessment, reflection, collaboration with others in the school community, professional development, and leadership. The document is short enough to easily navigate. It lists specific ways teachers can meet each expectation (e.g., find and prioritize areas for professional growth based on peer feedback).
These three documents had interesting similarities and differences. For instance, the CCD is student-directed, the Teacher Standards are teacher-directed, and the School Law is court/judge/lawyer-directed. Although each has the same ultimate goal - providing a fair, effective, high-quality educational system for Kentucky's children - each is written for a different audience and intended for different uses. Two of the three did not seem to be for direct student use. Students are not likely to read about Kentucky school law, or view the Teacher Standards. Hopefully, teachers speak enough about the CCD to make students well aware of what they are, although it seems unlikely students would read the entire set of standards on their own.
All three documents had much in common. They are generally not directly used by students. Each seeks to give extremely precise instructions and guidelines for conducting educational business. Each lays out actions for which different people and parties are responsible.
Each document supports the educational process in a unique way. School law must be codified and available to anyone who wishes to see it. It is critical to our educational organizations. Imagine trying to play a game of SCRABBLE without knowing or agreeing upon the rules of play. It