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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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 ranks sixth in the nation in percentage of board-certified teachers, ninth in total number

Kentucky recently celebrated the 18 newly certified and 101 newly renewed National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) who continue to improve their teaching for the students of the Commonwealth. With 3,292 NBCTs, Kentucky ranks sixth in the nation for the percentage of teachers who are Board-certified (8 percent) and ninth in the nation for the total number of board-certified teachers. This small class...

Toyota’s Legacy: Erlanger laboratory to be The Ignite Institute, world-class STEAM education center

Creating an enduring gift to fuel the economic engine of the Tri-State, Toyota announced that it is donating its Quality and Production Engineering Laboratory on its campus in Erlanger to develop a STEAM-focused education center to serve the Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati region. The vision, a collaborative endeavor involving state and local leaders, is world-class STEAM education that inspires...

Commentary: During Valentine’s Day week, how about showing some love for our public schools?

By Stephen Pruitt Special to KyForward Back in the 1970s, there was a TV drama called “Kojak.” The show’s star, Telly Savalas, was bald and almost always seen with a lollipop in his mouth. He loved them almost as much as he loved to solve crimes. His ever-present catch phrase, “Who loves ya baby?” was used to remind the people around him that he loved them and had their backs. You may be...

State Department of Education will underwrite costs of AP exams for low-income students

In an effort to increase students’ opportunity to take Advanced Placement exams, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) will underwrite the cost of the tests in the 2016-17 school year for students who qualify for free and reduced-price lunch. “The Kentucky Department of Education is committed to closing the opportunity gap for students, and as such, believes all students should have equal...

Pruitt: Charter schools coming to state, approval should begin with local board of education

By Brad Hughes Kentucky School Boards Association Commissioner of Education Stephen L. Pruitt said that he believes charter schools are in Kentucky’s immediate future, and that “definitions” spelled out in any law coming out of the 2017 General Assembly will be critically important. He also said Kentucky will take advantage of a U.S. Department of Education (USED) decision last week to give states...

Commentary: KSB experience proves every student can do great things if given the opportunity

By Stephen Pruitt Special to KyForward Last month, I had the pleasure to attend a book premier party, but this was no ordinary launch event. It was the kickoff for the book, “We Can Hear You Just Fine: Clarifications from the Kentucky School for the Blind,” authored by several current and former students of our own state school for the blind and visually impaired. As I have said many times before,...

State officials say impact of new dual scholarship program already evident

Barely five months since its inception, the Kentucky Dual Credit Scholarship Program is already yielding dramatic results across the Commonwealth, Kentucky Education Department data shows. Preliminary Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) data shows that 36.3 percent more high school students are enrolled in dual credit courses this semester, compared to Fall 2015 (22,707 vs. 16,659) — with a 49.9...

Commentary: The future of our children gives us a reason to come together with common purpose

By Stephen Pruitt Special to KyForward Recently many of us paused to remember one of the most terrible attacks by a foreign aggressor on American soil. It was the 15th anniversary of a day we now simply refer to as 9-11 and across the internet, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and every other social media platform we saw the words, “never forget.” Very fitting and I hope the words hold true. You may...

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...

Department of Education accepting applications for 2016-17 Commissioner’s Student Council

The Kentucky Department of Education is accepting applications for the 2016-17 Commissioner’s Student Council through Sept. 15. The Commissioner’s Student Council is a year-long program for Kentucky public school students in grades 10-12. In an effort to gain feedback from Kentucky students and to engage student leaders in learning by doing, the Kentucky education commissioner created...