All Fayette County preschool programs receive five-star rating after Ky. Department of Education review

All elementary schools that house a Fayette County Preschool Program classroom received a 5-STAR rating – the highest mark achievable – after a review by the Kentucky Department of Education during the 2016-17 school year. The findings, which are good for three years, came through STARS for KIDS NOW, which is Kentucky’s quality rating system. KDE officials visited late last spring and gauged...

Ashley Spalding: Kentucky’s preschool, kindergarten programs effective but need greater investment

High quality early childhood education has long been understood to be an important investment with a significant return. While our state has done more in recent years to expand access to preschool and full-day kindergarten, a new report from the state Legislative Research Commission shows there is real need for additional investments. Preschool The report describes how effective our state’s preschool...

Stephen Pruitt: Kentucky’s new accountability system designed to push education forward

After almost two years, more than 20 town hall meetings and thousands of public comments, Kentucky finally has a new accountability system and it is one of which we all should be proud. At a special meeting in late August, the Kentucky Board of Education approved the regulation that will govern the Commonwealth’s new accountability system. We’re not quite done with the system yet, but we’re...

Teachers have unique fishing experience, courtesy of a trip to Thomas More’s Biology Field Station

By Bobby Ellis Special to KyForward If you’ve ever wanted to give your students the chance to catch wild fish out of the Ohio River using currents of electricity, the Thomas More Biology Field Station in California, Ky., has just the thing for you. As part of a workshop organized by Tabitha Owens, who was the Kentucky Department of Education’s environmental education specialist at the time of...

Lafayette educator among state finalists for Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching

Susan McLaughlin-Jones of Lafayette High School is among Kentucky’s finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. She is one of three science teachers and five math instructors that the Kentucky Department of Education has submitted for national consideration. Susan McLaughlin-Jones (Photo Provided) McLaughlin-Jones will also be recognized during the...

Student Engagement: Teachers across the state are using drones as classroom supplement

By Mike Marsee Special to KyForward Anne Lopez has seen what drones can do for students. She has seen her students’ eyes light up when a drone whirrs to life, and she has seen those students throw themselves into a project in which they design and build their own drones. Drones are circling around an increasing number of Kentucky schools as teachers like Lopez, a STEM instructor at Eastside Middle...

Public school graduation rate increases, more students attain ACT readiness benchmark scores

The percentage of Kentucky public school students graduating from high school continued to increase; more students took rigorous Advanced Placement tests and earned a qualifying score of 3 or higher; and students scored higher with a greater percentage of them meeting readiness benchmarks on the ACT, according to 2016-17 assessment data released Thursday by the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE). Kentucky...

Kentucky Education Department recognizes 10 public schools for outstanding teaching, learning conditions

The Kentucky Department of Education recognized 10 Kentucky public schools on Monday for outstanding teaching and learning conditions. These Winners’ Circle schools were recognized for their effective teaching and school leadership practices and will be shared as models of best practices across the state. The Winners’ Circle schools were selected based upon the results of the 2017 Teaching, Empowering,...

Students in grades 8-12 encouraged to apply for spots on Commissioner’s Advisory Council

Public school students in grades 10-12 are invited to apply for membership on the Commissioner’s Student Council, an advisory group that provides input and feedback to Kentucky Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt. The council also is designed to engage student leaders in learning by doing. The Commissioner’s Student Council is a year-long program. The group will meet with the commissioner...

Latest ACT results show state ‘still has some serious work ahead of us,’ Pruitt says

The percentage of Kentucky public high school graduates meeting the state’s college-readiness benchmarks on the ACT college-entrance exam in reading and mathematics increased marginally, but slightly fewer students met the state English benchmark, according to data released Thursday by ACT. Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt said the report indicates that Kentucky still has “some serious work...

Stephen Pruitt: Meeting both the mental and emotional needs of our most vulnerable children

By Stephen Pruitt Special to KyForward The numbers are sobering. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, suicide was the second leading cause of death in 2015 among those aged 15-24. And the National Alliance on Mental Illness says 90 percent of those who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness. Kentucky is not immune to the prevalence of mental illness or suicide. In a 2016...

U of L College of Education kicks off pilot program to inspire Kentucky students to become teachers

What’s the secret to inspiring more Kentucky high school students to become teachers? Answer: start early, offer hands-on learning, provide access to experienced educators and help students earn college credit while still in high school. Those are the main goals of a University of Louisville College of Education and Human Development initiative that kicks off this semester. The Teaching and Learning...

Pruitt, education partners announce expanded computer science opportunities for state students

Kentucky Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt, state and national partners from AdvanceKentucky, the College Board, Code.org and state Sen. David Givens gathered Tuesday at Glasgow High School to announce a new computer science initiative that will expand computer science learning opportunities for Kentucky public school students. “The United States currently has more than 494,000 unfilled computing...

Kentucky Education Commissioner asks public to offer feedback on Every Student Succeeds plan

Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt is encouraging all Kentuckians to read and offer feedback on the draft Consolidated State Plan Under the Every Student Succeeds Act that lays out a blueprint for public education in Kentucky. Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt Under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which replaced the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), state education...

Testing the Waters: Teachers take to the water to become more familiar with environmental education

By Bobby Ellis Kentucky Teacher A job can’t always be glamorous, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun. A group of teachers from across the state slipped on their waterproof shoes, or slipped off their socks, and waded into a creek behind Pulaski County High School earlier this summer. Some slipped and almost fell, others were harassed by mosquitoes, and all of them dug through mud looking for...

Students from 26 Kentucky counties among top finishers in FCCLA national conference competition

Students from 26 Kentucky counties were among the top finishers in competitions at the 2017 Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) National Leadership Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. FCCLA is a national student organization that helps young men and women become leaders and address important personal, family, work and societal issues through family and consumer sciences education....

State education department budget request may need additional $800 million for 2018-20

The Kentucky Board of Education started talking about what to include in its 2018-20 biennial budget request during its August meeting. According to Kentucky Department of Education staff, additional money will be needed to implement Senate Bill 1 (2017) for a study to ensure assessments are aligned with standards, test item development, an additional college admissions exam, industry certification...

Staged discipline plan could be answer to teacher concerns about managing student conduct

By Brenna R. Kelly Kentucky Teacher When students are sent to in-school suspension for behavioral problems, they might be getting instruction, but it’s not same instruction they would be getting in their classes. Brandon Hensley, an 8th-grade language arts teacher at Southern Middle School (Pulaski County), recalled one student who served 36 days of in-school suspension (ISS) in one year. “He missed...

Department of Education names Earl Simms director of newly created Division of Charter Schoools

The Kentucky Department of Education has named Earl Simms as the Director of its newly created Division of Charter Schools in the Office of Legal, Legislative and Communication Services. Simms has nine years of experience working to improve urban education in the state of Missouri, most recently as the St. Louis director of the Office of Charter Schools with the University of Missouri College of Education....

Unusual Classroom: Kentucky teachers find out how Louisville Zoo can be a valuable educational tool

By Bobby Ellis Special to KyForward As a group of teachers from across the state entered the room for one recent professional learning session, they were greeted by some animals that you don’t normally see in a reception area. In a pen in the center of the room, an armadillo ran excitedly back and forth. A hedgehog sat in the hands of Jo Barrett, sniffing the air. And around the outside of the room,...