A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Jason Glass: As we start new school year under unusual circumstances, department stands united

I wanted to start my first column as Kentucky’s new commissioner of education to let you know how happy I am to be back home and how honored I am to have been selected to help move the Commonwealth’s schools forward during these unprecedented times. I know this is the most unusual opening Kentucky – and the rest of the country – probably has ever had. The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE)...

Former Boone County Schools superintendent Randy Poe continuing education journey with the KBE

By Jacob Perkins
 Kentucky Teacher Randy Poe’s journey with Boone County schools began as a bus driver for the district. Now, after serving the northern Kentucky community for nearly 40 years, Poe’s journey continues with the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE). “I consider it a great honor to be nominated and recognized to sit on the board so that I can continue working for children in Kentucky,”...

Punting the proverbial football: Board sends issue of fall sports for high schools back to KHSAA

By Mark Maynard Kentucky Today After an exhausting three and a half hour meeting, the Kentucky Board of Education punted the proverbial football back to the Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s Board of Control on Friday. 
The BOE unanimously voted to send a letter urging the KHSAA to consider “additional consideration of alternative options for high-contact sports.” It would include...

Al Cross: Beshear sees his limits; now it’s time for an individual character test and for you to carry the ball

There’s no shortage of subjects for a Kentucky political column: the U.S. Senate race (Mitch McConnell’s got a leg up, and both sides are misleading you), the bipartisan plan for the election (kudos to Secretary of State Michael Adams and Gov. Andy Beshear) or the Republican convention (Donald Trump’s latest TV show, well produced but with too much fiction). But the most important piece of business...

Bourbon County teacher Jeanne Crowe receives inaugural Ky. Board of Education Priority Award

At its June 3 meeting, the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) presented the first annual 2020 Priority Award for Closing the Achievement Gap to Jeanne M. Crowe, director of Continuous Improvement in Bourbon County Schools. Crowe, a 31-year educator, has worked more than a decade in the field of school improvement, including as a highly-skilled educator and an education recovery leader/specialist for...

KBE selects executive firm to lead search for Kentucky’s education commissioner

At its March 18 meeting – held virtually for the first time to comply with Gov. Andy Beshear’s recommendation to practice social distancing due to COVID-19 – the Kentucky Board of Education selected an executive firm to lead the search for Kentucky’s next education commissioner. Florida-based Greenwood/Asher & Associates Inc., which headed up the searches for former commissioners Terry...

Wade Mountz, Ky. Board of Education member and founding member of Prichard Committee, dies at 95

Wade Mountz, a leading citizen advocate in the effort to improve education in Kentucky over the past four decades, died at age 95 on Thursday in Louisville. Well known as a prominent health care executive, Mountz was an active member and leader of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. He also served on the Kentucky Board of Education from 1991 to 1996. His tireless advocacy for a greater...

Kentucky Board of Education seeks community feedback in search for next commissioner

The Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) is inviting residents and stakeholders to take a community survey on the qualities they would like to see in the state’s next education commissioner. The survey, available online, opened Jan. 21 and will close at 5 p.m. on Feb. 6. It takes about five minutes to complete. The board directed the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) to create and administer the...

Kentucky Board of Education takes next steps in search for new education commissioner

At a special meeting Jan. 17, the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) appointed board members Cody Pauley Johnson, Sharon Porter Robinson and Lee Todd to a team that will evaluate proposals from executive search firms vying to help the board find Kentucky’s next education commissioner. The board voted to create an RFP Evaluation Team. The team will view the proposals, which are being accepted until...

Wayne Lewis: 2019 legislative agenda prioritizes student success and parent empowerment

At its Dec. 5 meeting, the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) voted to approve a list of legislative priorities for the 2019 session of the General Assembly that places student success and preparedness and family empowerment at the center of our legislative efforts during the upcoming session. Admittedly, our agenda is ambitious, but I believe the legislative changes we are seeking are central to taking...

Department of Education announces proposed changes to high school graduation requirement

In a news conference at Frederick Douglass High School in Lexington Monday, Kentucky Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis announced proposed revisions to 704 KAR 3:305, minimum high school graduation requirements, in response to input received from educators and other education stakeholders. Commissioner Lewis will present the revised proposal to the Kentucky Board of Education at its meeting Dec. 5...

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...