A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Wayne Lewis: The time is now to hold Kentucky’s public education system to a higher standard

There are a few things that I consider non-negotiable when talking about education in Kentucky. First and foremost, I think a diploma from a Kentucky high school should mean something. For the 2016-17 academic year, just 65.6 percent of seniors across the state were college and career ready. That means that out of the 45,000 students who graduated that year, more than 15,000 of them weren’t ready...

Kentucky Teacher: Interim commissioner cites need for more school resource officers at roundtable

The Federal Commission on School Safety visited Lexington last week as part of a national listening tour on safety issues. Kentucky Department of Education Interim Commissioner Wayne D. Lewis and Kentucky Board of Education Chairman Milton Seymore participated in roundtable discussions led by U.S. Department of Education Deputy Secretary Mick Zais. The January school shooting at Marshall County High...

Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt forced to resign at Tuesday special board meeting

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Kentucky Board of Education, with new members appointed by Gov. Matt Bevin in place, voted to accept the forced resignation of Education Commissioner Dr. Stephen Pruitt during a special board meeting on Tuesday.   Pruitt has been commissioner since September 2015. Bevin made it clear Tuesday before the board’s vote he was unhappy with the state’s recent...

Bevin makes appointments to Board of Education, including Hal Heiner who resigns cabinet post

Gov. Matt Bevin has announced appointees to the Kentucky Board of Education. The appointees include: Hal Heiner of Louisville who resigned as Secretary of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. He has also been a member of the Asbury University Board of Trustees, the University of Louisville Board of Overseers, the Summit Academy Board of Trustees, and the Metro Leadership Foundation — an...

Ky. Board of Education to honor Fayette County Public Schools administrator Soraya Matthews

Soraya Matthews, the district’s director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment for high schools, will receive the 2018 Dr. Johnnie Grissom Award from the Kentucky Board of Education. Grissom was a respected, long-time educator and employee of the Kentucky Department of Education, and the award recognizes a person or organization that has exhibited leadership, commitment, and service to promoting...

Jeff Rubin: As the bumper sticker says – if you can read this, thank a teacher; they believed. . .

If you can read this, thank a teacher. I saw that bumper sticker on the back of a car I was following on the highway the other day. The sticker brought a smile to my face. More than that, it made me think about the important role teachers have played in my own life growing up. A role that could just as easily be applied to anyone of us, including our children and grandchildren. Throughout my formative...

Governor Bevin signs legislation allowing charter schools in Kentucky for the first time

Gov. Matt Bevin, joined by legislators, education officials and community leaders, on Tuesday ceremonially signed House Bill 520 in the State Capitol Rotunda. Enacted during the regular session of the 2017 General Assembly, HB 520 enables the creation of public charter schools for the first time in the Commonwealth. “We owe it to the generations yet to come to provide them with an equal opportunity...

State Board of Education gives unanimous approval to accountability system, discusses charters

By Brenna Kelly Kentucky Teacher At a special meeting in Frankfort Thursday, the Kentucky Board of Education unanimously approved the regulation that will govern Kentucky’s new accountability system under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and Senate Bill 1 (2017). The accountability system, as outlined in 703 KAR 5:270, is designed to promote and hold schools and districts accountable...

Attorney General to challenge Bevin’s ‘absolute authority’ over recent revamping of education boards

Attorney General Andy Beshear announced Wednesday that he is demanding Gov. Matt Bevin rescind a June 2 executive order dissolving and reorganizing numerous state education boards. Failure to do so, Beshear said, would result in legal action by the AG’s office challenging last week’s unlawful and unconstitutional move by the governor, which mirrors conduct taken by the governor against the boards...

Bevin designates four non-voting, non-member advisors to Kentucky Board of Education

Gov. Matt Bevin has designated four non-voting, non-member advisors to the Kentucky Board of Education per his executive order signed on Friday. The non-voting, non-member advisors are: — Tracey Cusick, a parent of 10 children, engaged in community and education organizations, from Union, Ky. Cusick has an associate’s of applied science degree from the SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse. —...

Makeup of Kentucky Board of Education, Professional Standards Board, others will change

By Brad Hughes and Madelynn Coldiron Kentucky School Boards Association Last Friday, Gov. Matt Bevin announced a series of reorganizations involving both policy making and advisory bodies related to K-12 and higher education, including the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) and the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB). The governor’s executive order also establishes a charter school advisory...

Bevin establishes Charter Schools Advisory Council, reorganizes key education boards and committees

Gov. Matt Bevin signed an executive order Friday that establishes the Kentucky Charter Schools Advisory Council to ensure successful implementation of House Bill 520 (HB 520). The order also realigns key education boards, councils and committees to provide an efficient, modern structure for implementing Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) and provides for greater coordination of efforts across the education system,...

Kentucky Board of Education discusses changes in new public school accountability system

At a work session last week, the Kentucky Board of Education took a deeper dive into the various components of a new accountability system. The system, still in its draft form, has been under development by teams of educators and others from across the state for the past 10 months. It is designed to meet the requirements of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act and to propel Kentucky students to higher...

Kentucky Board of Education discusses new accountability system, expresses general support

The Kentucky Board of Education took a first look at the proposed new accountability system for Kentucky schools and districts during a work session on Tuesday and generally liked what it saw. When asked if the state is on the right track with accountability, former superintendent and board member Roger Marcum unequivocally replied, “Absolutely.” “This is the most helpful system for students...

Kentucky Board of Education approves framework in preparation for possible arrival of charter schools

The Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) has approved a framework for charter schools, should the General Assembly consider public charter school legislation in the upcoming session. Currently, Kentucky is one of seven states that does not offer charter schools. Charters are public schools in which an authorizer and charter operator enter into a performance-based contract, or charter, that spells out...

Commentary: Taking ownership for closing the education achievement gap

By Stephen Pruitt Special to KyForward Achievement gaps have been around for decades. They exist in nearly every school, every school district and every state. The Prichard Committee recently released a report about gaps in Kentucky. And ACT graduating class data released this month confirms gaps continue to persist. Everyone agrees we have to do something about gaps – something that will solve the...

Bevin appoints five new members to Kentucky Board of Education

Gov. Matt Bevin announced five new members to the Kentucky Board of Education. The board is comprised of 12 members, each serving four-year terms. “I am very impressed with the talent, experience and knowledge of the newest members of the Kentucky Board of Education. Our prime responsibility as adults is to prepare the next generation for their most fulfilled life, and that responsibility starts...

Bevin to appoint nearly half of state school board, professional standards board soon

By Brad Hughes Special to KyForward Gov. Matt Bevin is about to have a significant impact on elementary and secondary education policy direction in the Commonwealth when he makes multiple appointments to the Kentucky Board of Education and the Education Professional Standards Board. And a lack of action during the 2016 General Assembly means the governor will be making appointments to nearly half of...

Commentary: Legislature should hold off on approving Senate Bill 1, wait for citizen input

By Roger L. Marcum Special to KyForward Twenty-five years ago Kentuckians did something unprecedented in public education. They put aside their political differences, partisan bickering and personal agendas and did what was right for Kentucky’s kids. The Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA), implemented in 1990, was one of the most ambitious and influential education reform polices attempted by any...

Members of state board of education concerned about how $17.9 million cut can be implemented

By Brad Hughes Special to KyForward The Kentucky Board of Education devoted plenty of time – and plenty of opinions – Wednesday trying to learn how staff of the state Department of Education are going about planning for the major spending cuts to K-12 programs recommended in Gov. Matt Bevin’s budget proposal. The plan, which is now before the House of Representatives, calls for KDE to cut $17.9...