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,...

Time to Make Doughnuts: Metcalfe County students turn vacant cafeteria into bakery — and get paid

By Brenna R. Kelly Kentuckyteacher.org It’s 4 a.m. when five Metcalfe County High School students roll into the Old School Café. It will be hours before most of their classmates get out of bed. But for these students, it’s time to make the doughnuts. By 6 a.m. the display case at the café, housed in the old Metcalfe County High School cafeteria, will be filled with fresh doughnuts – chocolate,...

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,...

Pruitt: With input from across the state, new education accountability system nearing completion

By Mike Marsee Special to KyForward Kentucky’s new accountability system has thousands of fingerprints on it as it nears the end of a year-long assembly line, but Stephen Pruitt couldn’t be more proud of it if he had built it entirely by himself. The process of developing the new system has involved more than 3,500 shareholders, with the work taking place in meeting rooms and auditoriums from...

Fayette County Board of Education adopts tentative $492 million budget focused on investing in students

On the heels of receiving assurance from the Kentucky Department of Education that the school district is on the right track, the Fayette County Board of Education unanimously approved a 2017-18 tentative budget that includes significant investments to ensure that a student’s demography does not determine his or her destiny. “Developing a school district budget goes beyond juggling numbers to balance...

Cooper High School’s Clark named 2018 Kentucky Teacher of the Year; Furman takes elementary title

Kellie Clark, a 16-year veteran teacher at Randall K. Cooper High School in Boone County, is the 2018 Kentucky Teacher of the Year. Valvoline, Inc. and the Kentucky Department of Education made the announcement Tuesday at a ceremony held at the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort. Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton; Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Director Mardi Montgomery; Commissioner of Education Stephen...

State education department advances academic standards review and revision process

The Kentucky Department of Education is moving forward with the review and revision process for academic standards in English/language arts and mathematics. The state’s current English/language arts and mathematics standards have been taught in Kentucky classrooms since 2011. Standards outline what students are taught – what they are expected to learn in each grade in order to successfully transition...

Commentary: Ensuring a strong public education system in Kentucky is top priority

By Stephen Pruitt Special to KyForward This month, I am sharing my thoughts about an issue that stirred up a lot of feelings and opinions on both sides of the political aisle during the 2017 regular session of the Kentucky General Assembly. House Bill 520, which was signed into law in March, gives local school boards and the mayors of Lexington and Louisville the authority to authorize charter schools....

Thank a Teacher: Bevin declares May 8-12 as Teacher Appreciation Week for those who make a difference

Gov. Matt Bevin recently signed a proclamation officially declaring May 8-12 Teacher Appreciation Week in Kentucky, joining the National Educators Association in honoring and celebrating teachers and recognizing their invaluable contributions to society. “Teachers are responsible for educating and guiding Kentucky’s children and the future of the Commonwealth and use their vast expertise and...

Nine of state’s best educators named semifinalists for 2018 Kentucky Teacher of the Year award

Nine outstanding teachers from across the state – three elementary, three middle and three high school teachers – are semifinalists for the 2018 Kentucky Teacher of the Year Award, the Kentucky Department of Education and Valvoline has announced. Winners of the Elementary, Middle and High School Teacher of the Year Awards, in addition to the overall 2018 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, will be announced...

Construction of tiny houses gives Kentucky students chance to work on building, problem-solving skills

By Brenna R. Kelly Special to KyForward It started as stack of cinder blocks in the parking lot of Casey County High School, but when it’s done, it will be Tara Weddle’s new house. For the past 20 years, houses have been sprouting from the high school’s parking lot every year. Students in Garlen Whitis’ Fundamentals of Construction class built three-bedroom, two-bath houses which were then...

Commentary: It’s time to ‘Plus It’ to accomplish the impossible for benefit of Kentucky students

By Stephen L. Pruitt Special to KyForward Spring is a time for new beginnings. I hope that everyone has had a chance to get away or at least find a way to reenergize in preparation for the remainder of the school year. Over Easter weekend, I travelled to watch my son row for his university at a meet in Tennessee. As I sat on the banks of the beautiful lake with incredible weather, my thoughts drifted...

Commentary: Nurturing the person in the classroom an important part of educational experience

By Kellie Jones Special to KyForward It was my first year teaching and I was expecting my first child. A parent of one of my students felt the calling to encourage me daily and provide a healthy snack for me and my baby. I would often find a piece of fresh fruit neatly placed in the center of my desk accompanied by a hand- written note of encouragement and appreciation. I found myself looking forward...

Pruitt hosting series of regional Town Hall Meetings to discuss new school accountability system

Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt will be hosting a series of regional Town Hall Meetings across the Commonwealth to gather feedback from Kentuckians on a new accountability system that has been under development for the past year. “This system goes beyond compliance, focuses on students and truly reflects Kentucky’s values,” Pruitt said. “The comments collected at Town Hall Meetings...