A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Paul Laurence Dunbar music instructor Tiffany Marsh named state’s 2019 High School Teacher of the Year

Tiffany Marsh, a vocal music teacher at Paul Laurence Dunbar, is Kentucky’s 2019 High School Teacher of the Year. She was among three finalists for the overall statewide honor, which went to a special education teacher in Oldham County. Tiffany MarshCo-sponsors Valvoline and the Kentucky Department of Education made the announcements during a May 15 ceremony at the Berry Mansion in Frankfort. Lt....

Outstanding teachers from across Kentucky in running for May 15 Teacher of the Year awards

KyForward staff One of 24 outstanding Kentucky educators are in the running for Kentucky Teacher of the Year to be announced in May. The Kentucky Department of Education and Valvoline Inc. sponsor the awards whose winners are selected by a blue-ribbon panel of veteran educators. All 24 teachers will receive prestigious 2019 Teacher Achievement Awards. “Valvoline is pleased to honor once again and...

Town Hall meetings on graduation requirements cancelled; you can weigh in online through May 15

Interim Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis has cancelled the Town Hall meetings planned to get feedback on Kentucky’s graduation requirements. Instead, he is taking to the Internet to streamline the citizen engagement process. The Kentucky Department of Education now will collect input online through an expanded survey. This will cut down on staff time and expense, and expedite the development...

Prichard Committee: Kentucky is backsliding on its education progress; we need sense of urgency

At the close of what has been a tumultuous legislative session, state lawmakers voted to override Governor Matt Bevin’s vetoes of the budget for the next two years, as well as a separate revenue measure that raised additional public funds through a series of tax changes. “While these veto overrides move us forward, it is clear more progress must be made to stem the erosion of Kentucky’s commitment...

Kentucky Arts Council’s Arts First Aid Grant aims to help strengthen arts curriculum in Kentucky schools

Schools that want to improve the quality of their arts curriculum and classroom experiences can apply for a multifaceted arts education grant from the Kentucky Arts Council. Through a partnership between the Kentucky Arts Council and Kentucky Department of Education, the Arts First Aid grant provides Kentucky school administrators, teachers and students with a high-quality intensive arts education...

Constance Alexander: It’s time to dial down the rhetoric and find a real pension reform solution

The most important job I ever had was teaching English and Social Studies in junior high school because every single day offered a long-term opportunity to make a difference in a young person’s life. Short-term, payback was less rosy. Daily challenges included dealing with administrivia, adolescent meltdowns, and parental ennui. Critics carped about summer vacations and seasonal holidays, insisting...

Deadline near for Ky. Farm to School Junior Chef contest; open to high school, middle school students

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles reminds Kentucky school cooking teams that they have until March 15 to apply for the sixth season of Farm to School Junior Chef competition. Quarles “The Junior Chef program teaches essential food preparation skills while also educating young people about the importance of buying nutritious local Kentucky Proud foods,” Commissioner Quarles said. “This competition...

Ky. celebrates 316 new board-certified teachers, ranks seventh in nation for number with designation

Kentucky is celebrating 316 newly certified National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs), the fifth largest class of NBCTs in the nation. With 3,601 NBCTs, Kentucky ranks seventh in the nation for the percentage of teachers who are board-certified (8.6 percent) and eighth in the nation for the total number of board-certified teachers. This large class of newly board-certified teachers, the second largest...

Kentucky Dairy Partners to gather Feb. 27-28 at Bowling Green’s Sloan Convention Center

The 11th annual Kentucky Dairy Partners meeting is set for Feb. 27-28 at the Sloan Convention Center in Bowling Green. The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is a sponsor of the event for dairy producers, industry representatives and others interested in the dairy industry. The Kentucky Dairy Development Council Young Dairy Producers Conference will take place prior...

New middle school in Fayette County moves one step closer as Squires Road land purchase approved

A new middle school in northeast Lexington moved one step closer to reality tonight when the Fayette County Board of Education voted unanimously to authorize the purchase of roughly 20 acres of land on Squires Road from the Kentucky American Water Company at a cost of $103,000 per acre. “Land is hard to come by here in Fayette County and we are thankful that the water company had the foresight to...

KY Department of Education, Valvoline seeking nominations for 2019 Kentucky Teacher Awards

The Kentucky Department of Education and Valvoline Inc., sponsors of the Kentucky Teacher Awards, have opened the nomination process for the 2019 awards. Nominations may be submitted electronically at kentuckytoy.com and are due by Feb. 15. Any full-time public school teacher in the state with at least three years of experience is eligible. Teachers may be nominated by students, parents, teaching peers,...

Kentucky’s plan to implement federal Every Student Succeeds Act takes a step forward

Kentucky’s plan for implementing the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) has taken a step forward in the process toward approval. Pruitt Last week the United States Department of Education (USED) provided feedback based on its initial review of the plan submitted in September. “Overall, I am pleased with where we are in the process and the feedback we have received,” Commissioner of Education...

Kentucky Department of Education seeks input on current English/language arts, math standards

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) is seeking additional feedback on current English/language arts (ELA) standards and current mathematics standards. Previous feedback collected through October 2017 focused on individual standards. To ensure transition- readiness for all for all students, KDE is seeking further public input regarding the cumulative grade-to-grade progression of K-12 ELA standards...

William McCann: Kentucky’s newly-adopted charter schools law may mean further cuts to arts education

I am conflicted about the newly adopted charter schools law for which regulations are now being promulgated by the Kentucky Department of Education. Studies have shown that charter schools are no better than the public schools with which they compete. But since charter schools are paid for out of state education coffers the result is that charter schools will cause the Kentucky elementary-secondary...

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...